Minister of Youth and Sports Development Chief Sunday Dare has expressed delight with numerous talents on display at the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) holding in Benin, Edo state capital.
Chief Dare who spoke on the sidelines of the competition after watching some of the live games said he was excited with successes recorded so far.
He said, “We have witnessed alot of display of talents and skills in the last 11 days. Wrestling is part of our great hope when it’s comes to the Olympics, both the male and female categories, I see alot of of young people who have a future in wrestling.
“So far, I am excited about the excitement I have seen in all the centres I have been to. My message is that they need to remain discipline and focused and also display the spirit of sportmanship. I have seen those that have won, have seen those that have lost and I see that spirit of comradeship, the future is great for most of those young athletes.
“This thing wouldn’t have been possible without the ministry of youth and sports. It wouldn’t have been possible without the Edo state governmen. if not for Covid-19 pandemic, it was just five days, everything was set then the pandemic came in, and within one year we all have to recover. So we are happy this partnership continues for the sake of the youth and for the sake of sport development in our country.
“Even from here, we can see track and field records are being broken, we’ve seen new people that qualified. This is what we expected from this sport festival. That’s why we call it Nigerian Olympics. I am very hopeful that if we get all of these athletes into camp, get them in shape, get them focused we support them. These groups of people, sport men and women will do Nigerian great at the Olympics.
“I have already program myself here as the sport minister, for the federal republic of Nigeria, Oyo is as important as Kano, Benue as Edo because my terrain is the entire country. I just want to see that it’s fair and the best person win. The refereeing is excellent and we see that all of the athletes are equally executing their best skills here, that’s what is important.”
The Minister was particularly astonished with the performance of a Bayelsa athlete, Ifiaezibe Gagbe, who hauled 15 medals including eight gold, two silver and five bronze from swimming at the Festival.