By Temitope Salami
Sagamu – No fewer than 312 corps members are participating in the Interstate Zonal Preliminaries of the 2018 National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Sports and Cultural Festival holding in Ogun.
The teams drawn from Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Kwara, Ekiti and Oyo states flagged-off the event on Monday at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Sagamu.
In his address of welcome, Mr John Okpo, the Ogun NYSC State Coordinator, commended the early arrival of the participants and urged them to be disciplined in the course of the competition.
He described the festival, which was instituted in 1984, as a tool for cultural integration across the country.
Okpo explained that the event was aimed at instilling a competitive spirit in corps members while serving as a platform for social interaction.
He said participants would challenge themselves in football, volleyball, athletics, drama, dance and stand-up comedy.
“The aims and objectives of the NYSC scheme to bring about unity are being actualised through this laudable competition.
“It is noteworthy that the zonal preliminaries we are here to witness will give room for winning teams to qualify for the finals.
“Please ensure you treat yourselves with utmost sportsmanship so as not to allow casualties, ” Okpo said.
The NYSC boss thanked the Ogun government for its support and providing the enabling environment for the programme.
The event themed, ‘Integrating Sports and Culture for National Unity, ‘ will run between Monday and Thursday, with victors progressing to the finals.
The competition is being held nationwide in the six geo-political zones.