The 26th edition of the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) hosted by the University of Lagos (UNILAG) came to an end on March 26 with the University of Port Harcourt topping the medals table.
The game tagged ‘City NUGA’ which kicked off on March 16 featured 17 sports with over 10,000 athletes cutting across the 75 universities registered. The event lived up to expectations capturing the imagination of everyone who participated.
With the slogan ‘hosting to win’ UNILAG presented the largest number of athletes at the 26th NUGA games. The university feature a 382-strong contingent for the all-university games fiesta.
UNILAG made history with the grand opening ceremony which may well go down as one of the best in the annals of the competition since its inception in 1966.
Joseph Ola Awoyinfa, the executive secretary of NUGA-UNILAG had earlier in an interview with BusinessDay stated that the 26th NUGA game would be an exceptional one.
According to the executive secretary, the competition venues for the ‘City NUGA’ games include UNILAG Indoor Sports Hall, YabaTech, Rowe Park, Yaba, and Onikan Stadium.
The 10-day event saw the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) retaining its position as the overall best and champion over the other participating universities. UNIPORT clinched 120 medals in 16 different sporting events.
While UNILAG came second with 86 medals, and debutants Nile University came third with 38 medals. These three universities were awarded trophies for their spectacular performances.
Some of the highlights of the event were the emergence of Ikechukwu Iloputa of UNIPORT as the Most Valuable Player in the Men’s Tennis even, while Simeon Akinsola of UNILAG and Damilola Oyedepo of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba, emerged the Most Valuable Players (MVP) in the male and female badminton event respectively.
Besides, the two gold medalists who publicly declared their marriage proposal at the just concluded UNILAG-NUGA were honoured.
Sunday Ambule had earlier during the games proposed to his love to Sa’adatu Hashime both are students of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. The UNILAG VC called out the students and blessed their union.
Benson Idahosa University was also awarded a prize as the best-behaved institution at the fiesta.
Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos led dignitaries such as Attahiru Jega, the former chairman of INEC, and Stephen Hamafyelto, the chairman of NUGA to the closing ceremony of the event which started around 5 p.m. at the UNILAG pitch.
At the ceremony, participating schools matched in front of the audience with an aura of excitement and fulfillment.
The host, UNILAG, thrilled the audience with their different dance steps. And the VC could not but joined the dancers as they danced to the popular “Zazu Zeh” song.
Ogundipe appreciated all the sponsors of the events for their support. The VC gave his vote of thanks while addressing the audience at the closing ceremony.
According to the VC, “The university has set a standard that any of the next hosts of NUGA will work hard to attain.”
He concluded his speech by putting off the NUGA torch and appreciated the NUGA president for his belief in the institution as he handed over the games’ flag to him.