Arrangements are in progress to feature ram fighting at the 19th National Sports Festival in Calabar, Basheer Agusto, the Chairman, Traditional Sports Federation of Nigeria, said on Sunday.
Mr. Agusto told the News Agency of Nigeria on the side lines of the National Ram Fighting Competition holding in Lagos, that the sport had contributed immensely to the development of traditional sports in the country.
“We were at the EKO 2012 festival for demonstration.
“Since then, the development of the sport has been significant especially among the states in the west who are also promoting ram competition.
“This is one arm of traditional sports that has gained ground, with Lagos State setting the pace.
“Oyo, Ogun, Kwara, Plateau, Sokoto and FCT, Abuja have also keyed in.
“Now that Calabar will be hosting the 19th edition, we are planning to extend the sport in that region so that ram fighting competition can grow among other traditional sports.’’
He explained that the rams used for the sport were specially trained by their owners to take part in the competition organised by the Ram Lovers Association of Nigeria, RLAN.
According to him, the sporting activity has created an avenue for youth empowerment, as it engaged some youths who train as coaches to the rams.
“The rams used for the competition are normal ones but the difference is that they are exclusively trained for competition purposes and the owners spend money and time on them.
“The RLAN is really doing well to encourage our youths who are involved in this sport by ensuring that the competition holds annually since it was introduced in 1997.
“Last year, the overall ram winner was given a car and there were also tangible gifts for winners in other rams fight categories.’’
Mr. Agusto expressed delight with the on-going competition which had over 300 rams from various local governments areas of the states.
“Almost all the local government areas are represented here and it is quite commendable
“The RLAN organised the competition and it kicked off on February 21.
“It will hold on Sundays for six weeks and popular Fuji musicians will be invited at the grand finale on March 27,”Mr. Agusto said.