From Molly Kilete, Abuja
Defense Minister Major General Bashir Magashi described physical fitness as the foundation for preparing troops to meet the security challenges plaguing the country.
The minister who announced the opening of the joint sports competition, organized by the Defense Staff (DHQ), indicated that physical fitness also contributes to maintaining the physical shape of the military and enabling them to effectively accomplish their mission of protecting territorial integrity. of the nation.
Represented by the Director of Army Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Mr. Sunday Attah on the occasion, General Magashi noted that the inter-service sports competition was designed to provide the platform for the services to interact with each other to maintain good relations. built and enjoyed over the years.
While noting that the importance of physical fitness for armed forces like Nigeria cannot be overstated, especially at a time when the country was struggling with various security challenges, the Minister said that only physically and mentally fit could stem the threat.
“Physical fitness therefore remains the cornerstone of troop combat readiness as it keeps service personnel in peak physical condition to perform/accomplish their assigned tasks.
“Overall, physical fitness is the foundation of good health and physical well-being for service personnel,” he said.
Magashi said the current security challenges facing the nation were enormous and therefore called for synergy and cooperation between the three services.
He said avenues such as athletic competition should be continually created to facilitate mutual interaction between troops.
He commended the troops for their efforts and sacrifices in the face of security challenges as well as the DHQ for organizing the sports competition.
He instructed participating athletes to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and strive for peak performance to win laurels for their various services.
“Furthermore, let fair play be your watchword while keeping the course, the objective of the organization of this sporting fiesta.
“I will not end my remarks without assuring you all of the unwavering commitment of the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, to ensure the best welfare and working conditions for the personnel of our armed forces.
“He appreciates the tremendous efforts and great sacrifices you are all making to ensure the security and prosperity of our dear country, Nigeria,” he added.
Earlier in his remarks, Chief of the Defense Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, said the event was aimed at strengthening bonds between the troops, instilling discipline and a willingness to serve a common cause in the armed forces.
The CDS, represented by Air Chief of Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said friendly athletic competition helps foster desired working relationships and promotes synergy between members of the armed forces.
According to him, this is because physical fitness of the body and contentment of the mind come more easily in the free atmosphere of the games.
“More so, sport provides a foundation of teamwork necessary for troops to function with the cohesion often called for in both peacetime military engagements and combat operations.
“As we all know, warfare is an exhausting experience and the ability to advance long distances with full combat gear over rough terrain and to fight effectively requires strength, agility and skill. endurance on the part of the troops.
“This can only be conditioned by sport and effective physical training.
“As such, team sports have been shown to provide both physiological and psychological benefits that reduce stress, illness and injury, especially during operations.
“As a result, the physical fitness and mental alertness of personnel have become key considerations for the armed forces to meet the increasing demands of current and emerging threats.”