Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has vowed to restructure Dambe (traditional wrestling) in order for it to compete favourably with other sports.
Mr Dare made the vow on Tuesday when he received members of the Dambe association in Abuja.
The minister commended the founders of the association for taking the sport to other parts of the country.
Dare, who had addressed the fighters in Hausa language before speaking collectively to the delegation, said: “I grew up in the northern part of the country and Dambe was predominantly a northern sport for fun. I commend you for making something out of nothing. You have taken the sport to other parts of the country and that is highly commendable.”
He added: “This is what we want to see. To see youth who use their brains, hands and innovative minds to do something for themselves and the country as a whole. What you have done is very encouraging and we are going to leverage on what you have done as co-founders.
“You need to create domestic league of Dambe fighters and make it more competitive in nature.
“Dambe gives us another opportunity to keep the youth busy and take them off crime because it engages their mind and makes them productive.”
Dare also assured that Dambe would be brought into the fold of traditional sports so as to create structure and bring added benefits to it.
“Now we have an opportunity to invest in our youth through Dambe fight. We will bring Dambe into the fold of traditional sports. 25 million views means there is a global recognition and following. We also need to create localised competition and state-level competition. We need to bring that back into the country. We need to put an institution behind it. What is needed is government support. From today, I have become an advocate of Dambe,” he said.