As 2022 gradually winds down, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development ends her yearly programmes with the National Sports Festival (NSF) in Delta state.
The long awaited National Sports Festival which has been carefully planned by both the Sports Ministry and Delta State Government is to be outstanding among others.
The sports loving Governor of Delta state, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, despite his campaign programmes and aspiration to become the Vice President of Nigeria, has given all the necessary support expected to ensure that the festival which runs from November 28 to December 10, 2022 leaves long lasting memory.The National Sports Festival usually begins with the flag off of the ‘ Tourch of Unity’ which is presented to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa, after which it is taken round to other states to announce readiness and commencement of the festival which finally is recieved by the host state.
However, the National Sports Festival serves as Nigerian Olympic Games considering the larger youths involved in the game and the number of sports that are contexted. The festival remains Nigerian bed rock in discovering raw talents that do not only unit the country but also, represent the country in the feild of championships. Atheletes discovered during the sports festival are camped and trained ahead of major games like the Olympic games, All African Games and others. The Ministry of Youth and sports is sure that some talents that will represent the country in the forth coming Olympic games in 2024 in Paris will emniate from this game.
This year’s festival tagged “Delta 2022”, will definitely showcase the fact that Nigeria has brilliant and reasonable fellows that have examination of consciousness on how to create a better invention, production and acceptance of realism. The country has personnel and officials that can professionally discharge their mandate in a manner that the credibility of the Games would not be tarnished. And to prove their readiness to host a successful championship, Delta state in the last one year has not only been preparing for this year’s National Sports Festival event but has also been hosting other events that have kept their youths busy. The peaceful environment makes the state attractive and ready for the influx of people expected at the fiesta.
The state is indeed known for the love it has for sports and many athletes want to reckon with them. It does not only kit its athletes during championships but motivates them financially and still sustains them after the championships.
For every competition, Delta State athletes are among the stars that usually make the podium appearance. Often times, the state government provides medical support for their athletes and above all, employs them after their active service. This is one reason the athletes always give their all and knowing that the state will always be there for them.
Fortunately for the Sports Ministry, the sports loving state Delta, has put in place standard facilities and equipments that are being serviced most of the time because of its frequent use. The Ministry of Sports is pleased that the state will provide enabling environment that is accepted by both parents and other states cognizance of the fact that the state knows the value of6 sports and speaks sports both at local and international level.
Delta state government looks forward to hosting both the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare, the Permanent Secretary Ismaila Abubakar including officials of the Ministry. The state will also host guest athletes from the 36 states including the Federal Capital Abuja, State Commissioners of sports and Directors of Sports in the States, Veterans of Sports, Members of both the Olympic and Para-lympic Commissions, All Women in Sports, State Governors and their Deputies, Representatives of the Federal Government, Media Practitioners and several other spectators. Nevertheless, the state seem to be willing and ready to also, accommodate some foreign atheletes that have indicated interest to participate in the festival.
However, the Sports Ministry recently inaugurated sixteen sub-committees that will drive Delta 2022 National Sports Festival. To ensure successful planning and participation, the Permanent Secretary of the Sports Ministry Alh. Ismaila Abubakar who represented the Hon. Minister during the inauguration charged his staff to put in their best towards ensuring a successful hosting of the festival.
Members of the different committees according to him were carefully selected on the basis of outstanding performance, competence, relevance, exposure and experience in order to enhance the joint planning and commitment of both Delta State and the Sports Ministry.
It should be noted that any state hosting the sports festival is given the privilege of adding more sporting events that their finance can accommodate with relevant venues. While other participating states, can only reduce their sports. In the zoom meeting held by Directors of Sports in the States and Olympic Committee President Engr. Gumel in October, they unanimously agreed to involve Para-Sports events and Criket Sport, among three new sports that will be text run at the festival which comprise Mix-Marshal Arts, Net-Ball and Teck- Ball. These sports will thus increase the 32 sporting events already proposed to be competed by the atheletes. The events will as well give the youths satisfaction in their respective areas of competition and indeed meet the needs of sponsors and individual ancillary interests that feed through sporting activities.
Moreover, the mass gathering in Asaba will thus offer the youths the opportunity to excel in fairness, clarity and love which are virtues they can eventually transmit into political, entrepreneurial and civil service life where honour and prestige do matter.
Both the Hon. Minister of the Ministry Sunday Dare, the Permanent Secretary Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar and their formidable management team, have not compromised in any form with the allowances and entitlements due to these athletes. The participation of our athletes at the Common Wealth Games in Birmingham in United Kingdom that have both enriched and given them honour by President Mohammadu Buhari is an attraction that is making the ministry more congested with vested interest of youths that have seen light, joy, fulfillment, appreciation, relationship, acceptance and glory in the sector.
Suffice it to say that the Ministry recently recognized and awarded cash prizes to some of her dedicated and committed staff in the different departments. It was a day of reckoning and great change for all. Most of the staff were indeed grateful to the Permanent Secretary Alh. Ismaila Abubakar who was the Champion of the day in approving the organisation of the memorable event which staff didn’t anticipate. The event honestly encouraged the staff and as well, made them enthusiastic of more regard for any hard work well done.
Nwokorie is a Press Officer with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.