Nigerian Sports contributed a lot to its rich heritage, brimming with diverse ethnicities, 520 native languages, and extra-rich film industry.
The traditional sport of Nigeria, Dambe Boxing, originated as a practice of military skills but later evolved as a symbol of masculinity and obtaining personal and family stature and prominence. By origin, Dambe was a martial art of the Hausa people from West Africa. The game’s mechanics is to subdue the opponents into total defeat in serious bodily matches, which resulted in broken ribs and jaws. This traditional sport is controlled by the Hausa butcher caste groups and was considered a harvest festival entertainment as the group travels to villages.
Nigeria’s Success in International and Olympic Sports
- Nigeria’s National Football Team, the Super Eagles, obtained the world’s 10th best-ranking football team.
It was considered one of the best football teams in Africa and successfully made a global name for the country by joining official international titles.
The men’s football team of Nigeria won gold in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. In the final match against Argentina, Emmanuelle Amuneke scored the final goal to win 3-2, and the team won the gold medal.
- In 2013 Nigeria obtained victory against Burkina Faso after 19 years of suffering from not winning the coveted Africa Cup of Nations.
- Team captain Amuneke of Nigeria’s U17 led the team to win the World Football Cup in 2015.
Popular Nigerian Sports Heroes
- Chiowa Ajunwa – the first Nigerian to win an Olympic gold medal
- Nojim Maiyegun – the celebrated welterweight Nigerian Olympic bronze medalist
- Innocent Egbunike – the Olympic sprinter bronze medalist and a champion at the All-Africa Games.
- Rashedi Yekeni was remembered as the most promising striker for his 20 football playing years and his days’ top scorer.
Past Sporting Events Hosted by Nigeria
Nigeria is such a sports-oriented nation that it hosted many national and world sports events. Here are some of these events:
- 1989 African Championships in Athletics
- 1980 and 2000 African Cups of Nations
- 2003 All-Africa Games
- 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup
Nigeria’s Most Favorite Sport
Many countries love football, including Nigeria. Nigerian news features regular national football activities. Trending nowadays is the coming matches of the legendary Super Eagles Team against Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia in October 2020 that hit the headlines.
The 4 most popular sports in Nigeria:
Treasured by Nigerians, this century-old traditional form of boxing is a symbolic performance of local harvest festival entertainment.
The most popular sport in Nigeria which people watch avidly, particularly The Super Eagles – the national football team that competes annually for national titles
Nigerian youth and young students in school plays and participate in boys’ and girls’ basketball tournaments
Some Nigerian runners made it to international titles. Running is a sport enjoyed by the Nigerian youth, schoolboys, and girls alike for competition and getting the benefits of one of the healthiest forms of exercise.
Nigeria takes pride in the outstanding achievements of their nation in sports. The collective effort of the winning national teams and the Nigerians’ innate athletic physique are instruments for them to be sports champions. The winner of the world’s recent Physique Champion Osborne Akinola speaks for this truth.