The Nigerian Army says its operations require both mental and physical capacity to achieve operational effectiveness and successes.
Acting Director, Civil Military Affairs, Army Headquarters, Brig.-Gen. Hillary Mabeokwu, said this at the closing of the maiden Nigerian Army Combined Combat Sports Coaching and Officiating Clinic on Friday in Abuja.
Mabeokwu, who spoke on behalf of the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Maj.-Gen. Markus Kangye, said that combat sports was one of the training activities aimed at enhancing the physical and mental alertness of troops.
He said the training was in line with the vision of the Chief of Army Staff, “to have a professional Nigerian army ready to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in defence of Nigeria”.
He said the training would also help to give them the expertise required to face armed combats.
“We do this in collaboration with other agencies, and that is why you see today, the technical directors and other representatives of other combat sports federation, in our midst.
“So it is just to enhance the physical and mental capacity and capabilities of our troops generally.
“We look forward to a better and more efficient personnel that can also participate actively even in our future sporting endeavors not only in the military, but also outside.
“It has enhanced that capacity and also their technical abilities,” he said.
The Director, Army Physical Training, Brig.-Gen. Olawale Fawole, said the combat sports event was the first major training activities of the directorate for 2023.
Fawoke said the directorate had been repositioned to fulfill its mandate and attain the vision of the chief of army staff.
He said the Nigerian army would continue to use sports to improve the physical and mental alertness of personnel.
The director said that army sportsmen and women had won several laurels in both local and international competitions, adding that the event was conceptualised to accomplish greater achievements in sports competitions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the representative of the COAS, who is the Deputy Chief of Training, Maj.-Gen. Muhammed Etsu-Ndagi, declared the competition opened.
The combat competition was organised by the Department of Physical Training as part of its training activities.
The sports competed for included Judo and Taekwondo, with competitors drawn from within the army. (NAN)