History of Sports in Nigeria

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  • Topic: Gold medal, Sports terminology, Bronze medal
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  • Published : May 2, 2011
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Nigerian sports, though always exercised, was noted first in the 1950s. Nigeria had it's first appearance in the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952, and it's first victory in 1954, when Emmanuel Ifeanjuna won a gold medal in the high jump at the Commonwealth games in Cardiff.

In 1962, the Nationals Sports Council was set up, and in 1971, the National Sports Commission, and they had the following responsibilities (stated exactly as is):

* To coordinate and integrate efforts to raise the standard of performance in sports in Nigeria. * To encourage the development, organization and participation of sports in Nigeria. * To make any arrangements on behalf of the States' Sports Councils for Competitions, technical assistance, recruitment of coaches and for any other matters as the Commission sees fit. * To promote physical fitness and general well-being of all persons in Nigeria

In terms of football/soccer, the Nigerian Football Federation was created in 1945. It was the first year that a competition was organized bringing together clubs from Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar. The championship was also renamed the Challenge Cup replacing the Governor's Cup as it had been known under their British colonizers. It was only several years later that the Challenge Cup became a national trophy when other top clubs from different provinces were invited to play. However, the clubs had to wait till 1990 for the professional league to be introduced.

Nigeria emerged on the international football/soccer scene in 1960 when it first entered the World Cup, but failed to qualify for the finals. It eventually qualified for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. The Nigerian National League began in 1972 when five teams entered the league. This grew to 12 teams by 1978. The victories Nigeria has won are stated in the records section below.

Locally within Nigeria, there are many sporting clubs that one can join.

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RECORDS
Here are the records I've been able to obtain on Nigeria's involvement in sports (outside of Nigeria of course), sorted chronologically. Of course, if you can think of something that I am missing let me know. In the meantime, I want to thank DID for helping provide some of this information.

Year Records by Nigerians
1954

* Emmanuel Ifeanjuna won a gold medal in the high jump at the Commonwealth games in Cardiff.

1962

* The first All African games was held and Nigeria's Karimu Young won a gold medal in the 51 kg class (in Cairo).

1964

* Nojim Maiyegun won a bronze medal in the 71 kg class in the Olympics (in Tokyo Japan)

1966

* A. Andeh, LIGHTWEIGHT, Commonwealth games, Boxing
* Eddie Ndukwu, BANTAMWEIGHT, Commonwealth games, Boxing * Also in boxing, Fatai Ayinla each won a gold medal (in Lagos)

1968

* In boxing, Lako (last name not mentioned) won a gold medal in the 54 kg class.

1970

* A. Adeyemi, LIGHTWEIGHT, Commonwealth games, Boxing
* Fatai Ayinla, LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT, Commonwealth games, Boxing

1972

* Isaac Ikhouria won a bronze medal in the 81 kg class in the Olympics (in Munich Germany)

1973

* In boxing, Obisia Nwakpa, Isaac Ikhouria and Fatai Ayinla won gold medals each in boxing (in Lagos)

1974

* Obisia Nwakpa, LIGHT-WELTERWEIGHT, Commonwealth games, Boxing * Eddie Ndukwu, FEATHERWEIGHT, Commonwealth games, Boxing * In boxing, Eddie Ndukwu and Isaac Ikhouria won gold medals each (in Kampala) * In boxing, the first world's championship was held and Fatai Ayinla won a bronze medal in the +91kg (in Havana Cuba)

1976

* Shooting Stars won the tournament for the CAF nations.

1977

* Enugu Rangers won the tournament for the CAF nations.

1978

* Abdulkarim Haruna (60 kg) and Ishiaku Adamu (81 kg) won gold medals each (in Algiers). * Davidson Andeh won a gold medal in the 60 kg class (in...
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