Harding Ekperigin, the Father of Physical & Health Education in Nigeria.

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Harding J. Ekperigin contributed largely to the development of Track and Field sports in Nigeria and he is popularly regarded as the father of Physical Education in Nigeria.


Nigerian Athletics In The Early 20th Century
Nigerian Athletics In The Early 20th Century.

The development of Physical and Health Education started with the arrival of Missionaries in the country. However, the Physical Education was significantly improved by contributions from notable pioneers such as Harding Ekperigin, Prof. M.O. ajisafe, Isaac Akioye amongst others.

James Harding Ekperigin is recognized as the Nigerian founder/grandmaster of physical education. His studies in the subject made him known as a great scientist. James was born in Ugbori, Warri. James Harding had a great sport experience. After returning to Nigeria from Loughbrough Training College in England, he was appointed as an education officer. Ekperigin played an important role in establishing physical and health education in Nigeria. He is one of the pioneers of physical health education in the country.


Full Name: Harding James Ekperigin.
Home Town: Ugbori, Warri.
Education: Government College Ibadan, Loughbrough Training College in England.


  1. He was the first professionally trained physical and health educationist in Nigeria and from Loughbrough, the training he undergone opened ground for some notable people such as Prof. M.O. ajisafe, Isaac Akioye.
  2. He helped to establish both grade II and grade III teachers college.
  3. He was a significant figure among the officials that led Nigeria continent to the first outing of the commonwealth games at Cardiff, Wales in 1958.
  4. He helped to form the Nigeria Association of Physical and Health Education & Recreation (NAPHER).

Source: StopLearn.

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