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COS Encourages Nigerian Army Athletes to Promote Healthy Bonds at Athletics Championship

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In a spirited call to action, the  Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Taoreed Lagbaja, has charged Nigerian Army athletes to leverage their talents to foster healthy comradeship and enhance physical fitness amongst themselves.

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General Lagbaja gave the charge during the Nigerian Army Inter-Formation Mini Athletics Championship 2024, which saw over 600 athletes from various Divisions compete in a week-long series of track and field events.

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Representing the COAS as the Special Guest of Honour, the Commandant Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Major General John Ochai, emphasized that the championship aligns with the COAS Command Philosophy, “To transform the Nigerian Army into a well-trained, equipped, and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment.”

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General Ochai highlighted the importance of physical training, stating, “There is no other human activity, other than eating food, that is as beneficial to a person as physical training. For us in the Nigerian Army, physical fitness and mental as well as emotional well-being are paramount. An army that is not physically fit cannot succeed in operations and cannot achieve its constitutional mandates,” he asserted.

The Commandant encouraged all personnel to give their best in maintaining physical fitness and urged them to inspire their families and dependents to adopt healthy habits. “Showcase your talents and strive hard to make your formations and indeed the Nigerian Army proud,” General Ochai added.

The championship featured a variety of events, including athletics, discus, shotput, hammer throw, javelin, long jump, high jump, and triple jump.

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The athletes were drawn from 1, 2 , 3, 6 , 8, 81 and 82 Divisions as well as the Army Headquarters Garrison.

The final results saw the Army Headquarters Garrison emerging as the overall winner, securing 10 gold medals, while 1 Division clinched the second position with 9 gold medals and 6 Division came third with 7 gold medals.

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8 Division took the fourth place with 1 gold and 5 silver medals, 3 Division came fifth with 1 gold and 2 silver medals, 82 Division in sixth position with 1 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze medals, 8 Division in seventh, with 1 gold, while 2 Division came eighth with 2 silver medals.

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Major General Onyema Nwachukwu Director Army Public Relations in a statement issued Saturday said climax of the event was the participation of the Commandant in the 400 Meter run on the track as part of the Closing Ceremony.

The event not only celebrated athletic prowess, but also reinforced the Nigerian Army’s commitment to physical fitness and camaraderie; essential elements for a robust and effective military force.

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