From Abel Leonard, Lafia
Governor of Nasarawa State Abdullahi Sule has said the state is ready to partner with private investors in order to promote sports tourism in the state.
Daily Sun reports that Sports tourism is a travel that involves either observing or participating in sporting events while staying apart from the tourists’ usual environment.
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Governor Sule made the disclosure on Saturday at the 2022 inaugural one-day Captain/Lady Captain Golf tournament, held in Lafia, the state capital.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, said that the state government was prioritising sporting activities to enhance the well being of its citizens, calling on private individuals to invest in sports tourism for the benefit of the people of the state and the country at large.
The governor, who underscored the importance of Golf in human endeavour, said apart from pleasure the game aids physically fitness and guards against diseases such as diabetes and hypertension among others.
‘The game of Golf gives us an opportunity to exercise parts of our body and this tournament brought people from all works of life to the state. This will encourage investors to come to Nasarawa State.
‘Our golf course is strategically located and has all the characteristics of being a golf course. I, therefore, assure you that government will continue to support this sport and other sporting activities in the state for the good of the people,’ Sule said
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He called on residents of the State to key into the sport for fitness and other benefits derived attached with the game.
In a goodwill message, the Captain of Makurdi Golf Club, Engr Mike Vaatia, congratulated the Lafia Golf Club for the tremendous progress recorded within a short period of its existence.
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Vaatia, who is also the Proprietor of Vaatia College, Makurdi, Benue State, said the enthusiasm, togetherness and improvement of the club were due to the encouragement given government as well as the traditional rulers in the state.
He said that the Makurdi Golf club was organising the governor’s tournament which will feature golfers across the country, saying: ‘Our governor has already approved funds for us to host the tournament. We are going to also meet the private sector and see how we can make that tournament a huge success.’
Also speaking, one of the participants, Rear Admiral Jatau Luka (retd), said that the Lafia Golf Club was recording remarkable improvements, calling on both the state government and private individuals to ensure that the club is maintained.
Earlier, the Captain of Lafia Golf Club, Austin Okyuwa, said the tournament was organised to precede and usher other major tournaments in the remaining part of the year.
Okyuwa listed the tournaments to include; the first-ever Emir of Lafia ‘Peace and Unity Golf Tournament’, the first-ever governor’s cup tournament and the Dangote PRO/AM Golf tournament.
He thanked Gov. Sule for promoting sports tourism with a huge potential to attract local and international investors to the state.
On her part, the Lady Captain of Lafia Golf club, MaryLinda Ogbole, said the club was liaising with the state Ministry of Youths and Sports Development to ensure that more ladies are registered in the club.
She appreciated the Lady golfers for participating actively in the tournament and called on others who are yet to register to do.
Daily Sun reports that over 100 golfers participated in the tournament among which 18 were ladies and prizes were given to winners at the end of the competition.