Benson Idahosa University recently emerged top private university at the 25th Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) Games, which was held at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue. Benson Idahosa University was the only private university that participated at the NUGA Games with a total of 47 athletes, 8 coaches and 5 officials. Out of the 16 NUGA events, Team BIU participated in 7 events namely; Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Chess, Swimming, Tennis and Volleyball.
According to records by the NUGA secretariat in Makurdi, a total of 57 universities competed for medals at the sports fiesta and amidst stiff competition, Team BIU emerged second runner-up with 10 gold, 7 silver and 9 bronze medals.
Benson Idahosa University proved its superiority by defeating 55 state and federal universities, which included, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), University of Nigeria (UNN), University of Benin (UNIBEN), University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), University of Calabar (UNICAL), University of Jos (UNIJOS), and University of Ilorin. However, Benson Idahosa University won 8 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals in swimming, while in tennis (male single and female single) they garnered 1 gold and 1 bronze medal respectively.
Also, the students established their supremacy in badminton, by winning 2 bronze medals with an additional gold and silver in chess. Two of our athletes, Amukali Evans and Mohammed Lawal, won Most Valuable Player awards in swimming and tennis respectively. It will also be recalled that in 2011, Benson Idahosa University emerged second runner- up in the West Africa University Games held at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria.
Expressing her gratitude to the University Management, the Director of Sports who led and supervised the team from Benson Idahosa University, Mrs. Eunice Adebayo-James, attributed her team’s brilliant performance to God, and to the athletes’ gross discipline. “We came this far because my players performed according to the laid down instructions given to them, hence, God crowned our efforts. I want to appreciate the University Management for their unrelenting encouragement to sports and on behalf of the Sports Unit, we promise to continually strive to achieve greater feats in future competitions,” she said.
The Most Valuable Player (MVP) in swimming, Amukali Evans, said the team prepared adequately for the competition. “I feel very excited and great. We trained very hard and our Director of Sports took very good care of us,” he said. He explained that they passed through a lot of difficulties before and during the competitions. “However, that notwithstanding, we are all happy with the turnout of events,” he added.
Meanwhile, the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), garnered 70 gold, 47 silver and 33 bronze medals to win the 25th NUGA Games. Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), came second with 11 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals.