Organizers of the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, officially held a welcome ceremony for Team Nigeria at the Games village yesterday. Teams’ arrival at the Games Village is not officially acknowledged until a welcome ceremony is held for the various contingents.
The athletes were entertained by a dance troupe from the Munujali tribe.
Preceding the performance, athletes watched from the sideline as the Nigerian flag was raised and the National Anthem sung.
A commemorative indigenous shield was presented to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, while Team Nigeria in return presented the talking drum to their hosts.
Dalung expressed delight in the ceremony, which brought together all participating athletes.
“What we have seen here today basically is to express the bond of friendship, which exists amongst athletes.
The spirit of togetherness expressed by people, who have just met themselves for the first time here suggests the fact that the bond is very strong.
“I think that the Commonwealth needs to go back to its initial concept of investing in youth development, providing scholarships and according opportunities to young people to travel across the Commonwealth,” he said.
On his expectations of Nigeria at the games, the Minister said he hoped Team Nigeria will exceed its previous performance.
Addressing the athletes immediately after the welcome ceremony, the minister charged them to compete fairly without tarnishing the image of the country.