By Ikugbadi Oluwasegun
The Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) was formed in July 1965, shortly after the 1st West African University Games was held at the University of Ibadan earlier that year.
In 1966, the first Nigerian University Games was held at the University of Ibadan. The five participating universities at that time were: University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; University of Lagos, Akoka and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Presently, there are over eighty universities as members of NUGA and these members cut across private and public (federal- and state-owned) institutions.
University of Agriculture, Makurdi (UAM) hosted the 25th edition of the NUGA Games in 2017.
The University of Lagos acquired the hosting rights for the 26th edition in 2017 during the closing ceremony of the Games at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi. The competition was scheduled to hold in 2019 at the time.
After an initial postponement to 2020, the Games were once again halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted sporting activities across the globe.
However, post COVID-19 era has made Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all intending participants of the 26th edition of NUGA competition.
The last time the University of Lagos hosted the NUGA competition was in 1998. 24 years later, the 26th edition of the NUGA competitions will be held again at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) from the 16th to 27th March, 2022.
Prior to the final competition at the University of Lagos, elimination competitions would be held at the various NUGA Zones with over ten thousand athletes from close to 80 universities participating.
The 17 games expected to be played at NUGA2022 include Football, Badminton, Table Tennis, Handball, Squash, Basketball, Volleyball, Cricket, Swimming, Chess, Judo, Tennis, Taekwondo, Karate, Hockey, Scrabble and Athletics.