The Commandant, National Defence College (NDC), Rear Admiral Samuel Alade, said that the college would continue to sustain its policy of admitting only officers that have complied with the Body Mass Index.

Alade said on Saturday that the policy was aimed at ensuring that only physically and mentally fit officers were admitted to the college for training.

The college’s deputy commandant, Maj.-Gen. Ede Ode, who represented Alade, stated this in Abuja at the NDC 2016 Sports Day organised as part of activities to mark the Course 24 graduation ceremony.

Alade said apart from the college’s academic programmes, both staff and students were encouraged to participate in sporting activities in line with the military’s objective of maintaining physical fitness at all times.

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The commandant noted that sports were an integral part of activities at the College both as a unifying factor and an exercise to keep the body healthy.

He said: “Just as we take the matter of academics seriously at the college, we equally pay attention to the matter of physical fitness.

“We appreciate and will sustain the directive from the services that officers shortlisted for the college programme must comply with the Body Mass Index.

“The essence is to ensure that the participants are healthy, physically and mentally fit to undergo such rigorous training,’’ he added.

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Alade said that sports were being used to strengthen the bond between directing staff and participants on one hand and on the other hand, foreign participants and other members of the college community.

On his part, Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung commended the management of the NDC for integrating sports in its training programme.

Represented by the Director, Grassroots Sports, Mr Shua Umar, Dalung said the Armed Forces policy on physical fitness was worthy of emulation and should be replicated in other fields of the public sector.

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According to Dalung, sports should be at the heart of every profession and not only for the armed forces.

The minister said the ministry would continue to identify key stakeholders and build partnerships that would advance the cause of sports in Nigeria.

He pledged the continued support of his ministry to the college, offering to work closer with participants in the near future, in the area of sports development.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that games like football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, lawn tennis and scrabble teams were played to mark the occasion. (NAN)