Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, has charged Nigerian Army personnel to be conscious of their physical fitness to ensure quality military delivery.

Speaking at the maiden Nigerian Army Combat Sports Coaching and Officiating Clinic held in the indoor sport hall of Aguiyi Ironsi Military Barracks, Asokoro, Abuja, Yahaya noted that being fit enhances soldiers quality of life, improves productivity and brings positive physical and mental changes.
The theme of the clinic was ‘Capacity Building of Coaches and Officials towards improved performance of Nigerian Army Sportsmen in combat sport.”Represented by the Deputy Chief of Training, Major General MA Etsu-Ndagi, the COAS disclosed that physical fitness is an essential requirement, not only for optimal health, but also to get soldiers battle ready.

Yahaya encouraged Nigerian Army soldiers and officers to train more in various sporting activities to participate in highest level of military athletic competitions, which often includes Olympic Games and World Championships.

Acting Director, Civil Military Affairs, Army Headquarters, Brig.-Gen. Hillary Mabeokwu, who represented the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Maj.-Gen. Markus Kangye, said that personnel are required to be physically fit to meet certain military operational duties.

“These include ability to perform under a wide range of geographical and environmental conditions, as well as coping with the stress of sustained operations,” he said.
Also speaking at the clinic, Acting Director of Army Physical Training, Brigadier General Fawole, thanked the COAS for supporting the initiative, saying a soldier’s level of physical fitness has direct impact on combat readiness.
“The many battles in which Nigerian troops have fought underscores the important role physical fitness plays on the battle field. It is of particular importance to Armed Forces all over the world, not only because of its benefits, but because physical fitness training forms an important part of the Nigerian Armed Forces physical education programme.”

The maiden clinic was organised by the Directorate Army Physical Training, with sports like boxing, wrestling, judo, karate and taekwondo on display.

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