As part of their preparations for the forthcoming National Sports Festival schedule to hold in Benin, Edo State, 22 wrestlers have been invited to close camp by the Akwa Ibom State wrestling Association, (AKSWA).
According to a statement issued by the media officer for the association, the athletes were drawn from a team of 43 wrestlers earlier selected from a state trials held last month at the Uyo Stadium and the Navy base sports centre in Calabar.
“We had an open camping, where those selected came from their homes for the training. This time we have hired a place to accommodate all of them; this will guarantee concentration and focus. Since it is barely, three weeks to the competition this is why they have to stay together and work as a team. 22 athletes have been approved to feature at the sports festival,” the statement said.
The Chairman of the state wrestling association, Abasi-ima Ernest Akwa said they decided at a recent meeting of the association to move the selected athletes into a camp to protect them against any untoward distraction since other arrangements for intensive training plan did not work out as envisaged.
“We needed approval from our Sports Ministry to take the wrestlers to a camp outside the state, where they will have modern mats to use as our own has not yet arrived, but the approval is still pending,” Akwa explained.
The chairman, who is an ex-wrestler, commended the Commissioner for Sports in the state, Monday Uko for the unalloyed support he had given to the association and encouragement to independently initiate plans to train the athletes ahead of the festival.
“The camping is sponsored by the association, that’s why we’ve chosen two camping sites for the wrestlers.