After the 2018 edition, Niamey, the Capital of Niger, is once again hosting TOLAC, the African wrestling tournament of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), which began this Friday, March 17, 2023 in the splendid national wrestling arena.
The tournament was officially launched by the Minister of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Niger, SE Adamou Sékou Doro, in the presence of SE N’Dri Guillaume GNAMIEN, ECOWAS Resident Representative in Niger, representing the Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, Mr. Franchis Chuks Njoaguani, Director of the ECO
In his speech at the opening of the tournament, Minister Sékou Doro stressed that the 2023 edition of TOLAC, which is an important framework for sharing, mixing and integrating the youth of the West African Community on a sporting and cultural level, is under the theme “ECOWAS of Peoples: Peace and prosperity for all”. This tournament, said the Nigerien Minister of Sports, Adamou Sékou Doro, must be this friendly space, the cement of the new era of peace and stability to which the peoples of the region aspire.
Speaking previously, N’Dri Guillaume GNAMIEN, ECOWAS Resident Representative in Niger, representing the Commissioner of the ECOWAS Commission, in charge of Human Development and Social Affairs, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, said that the African struggle practised today within our West African community, resonates throughout the world as can be attested by the adoption of our struggle in the programs of the
“TOLAC is one of the major annual sporting events in our Community. Adopted as a community sport in November 1986 by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, the first edition of the African wrestling tournament was held here in Niamey in 2001 with the participation of three countries (Niger, Nigeria and Burkina Faso). Today, fourteen (14) Member States responded to our invitation, proof of the importance of this tournament in the sports calendar of the federations. “said SE N’Dri Guillaume GNAMIEN.
Today, when all the communities of the world are asserting themselves through a sporting identity, our greatest objective will be to continue to propel our traditional model of struggle with our Specific Code, beyond our Community and make it an African, even Olympic, identity sport, he added.
SE N’Dri Guillaume GNAMIEN, in his speech, insisted on the predominant place to be given to women, because ECOWAS is equal opportunities, it is Gender. He urged all delegations, the CDJS and all partners to think about a women’s competition for the next editions of the ECOWAS African wrestling tournament.
He also affirmed that beyond any adversity and opposition, sport as a whole is a vector of peace and social cohesion; which perfectly summarises ECOWAS’s new 2050 vision: “ECOWAS of peoples: peace and prosperity for all”.
It should be noted that 13 countries were present for this 12th edition, with each of the wrestlers registered in the 5 categories that will compete from Friday, March 17 to Sunday, March 19, 2023.