The government of Delta State has come out with a declaration that it would prefer to host next year’s National Sports Festival in the month of November, rather than earlier, megasportsarena.com reports.
Consequently, Nigeria’s National Council on Sports has approved November 2 to 15, 2022 as the dates for the 21st edition of the festival in Delta State, under the tag Asaba 2022.
As the countdown begins, the minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare described the host state as the incubator of talents for the nation’s sports development.
Dare stated as much during an extra-ordinary meeting of National Council on Sports, following which the minister thanked Delta State for hosting the confab and affirmed that the successes of Nigeria in sports will not be complete without giant strides of the state’s athletes.
A major highlight of the event was signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Asaba 2022, with signatures appended by Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and the minister.
Okowa thanked the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for the opportunity given his state to host the festival and promised to not only surpass the standards of Edo 2020, but make the 21st edition best in history.
On his part, the minister commended the National Council on Sports for commitment and steadfastness to sports development, lauding the support he and the ministry have received over the past two years.
The minister added that, in a bid to exalt the National Sports Festival as Nigeria’s version of the Olympics, the ministry, in collaboration with office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, has established a department solely responsible for the competition and para-sports.
He also expressed gratitude to Okowa for his immense contribution to sports development, stating that the feat achieved by the nation at the Tokyo Olympics would not have been possible without 12 athletes sponsored by the governor under the ministry’s Adopt-an-Athlete initiative.
Dare concluded: “He single-handedly adopted the largest number of athletes and we are glad that out of the two medals we won, one of them was won by one of the athletes adopted by the Governor. That is Ese Brume.
“Therefore, this meeting puts us at the cusp of another National Sports Festival (NSF) which we refer to as our own Olympics. With this development, Para-Sports has equally been given the desired attention.
“The National Council on Sports meeting today has become necessary in order to update Council on developments, and deliberations on issues that concern the hosting of the 21st National Sports Festival which Delta State had earlier won the rights to host in November 2022.
“Interestingly, Delta State came first at the recently held Edo 2020. Now, we are happy that they have the opportunity not just to host, but to validate their first position.
“Arising from the award of the hosting rights to Delta State, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has continued to engage the host State on the need to fine-tune the road map in preparation for the NSF.”December 22, 2021 at 02:58PM