During the recently concluded 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana, which took place from March 8th to 23rd, 2024, a four-man team made their debut for Nigeria for Sambo which is one of the seven demonstration sports at the games. Despite being relatively new to the competition, the team showcased remarkable talent and determination, securing one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal for their outstanding performances. 

This achievement not only brought honor to Team Nigeria but also marked a significant milestone in the athletes’ careers, providing them with a platform to showcase their skills on a larger scale and paving the way for future success in their sporting endeavors. President of Sambo Association of Nigeria, Evangelist Loveth Howell couldn’t contain her joy at the landmark win. It was a moment of pride and joy that shows the hard work, dedication, and passion of the athletes and coaches. She further describes that, “It was a testament to the progress we’ve made as a team. Watching our athletes stand on the podium, hearing the Nigerian national anthem play, and seeing the Nigerian flag raised high was a moment I will never forget. It was a proud moment for all of us, and a reminder that our efforts are making a difference.”

With this success, the association is poised to push the sports on a larger scale and get as many athletes to be a part of this competitive sports. Excited to share her plans for Sambo in Nigeria, Evangelist Howell shares that, “As President, my vision is to make Sambo a top sport in our country. We’ll focus on Grassroots development by introducing the sports to young people and providing a pathway for growth. Coach education by ensuring coaches have the knowledge as well as skills to teach effectively and organizing national championships as well as international events to showcase our athletes’ skills.

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“Partnerships is key also so as to secure funding and resources to support the development. Talent identification is another important aspect as we find and nurture talented athletes to excel in the sport.” She added.

Moreover, the association’s commitment to promoting Sambo reflects its dedication to fostering a culture of sportsmanship, discipline, and physical fitness among Nigerian youth. By advocating for the development of Sambo infrastructure, coaching, and talent identification initiatives, the association is paving the way for future generations of Sambo practitioners to excel on both national and international stages.