Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has commended the government and people of Delta State for their consistency in grassroots sports development.
He gave the commendation at the closing ceremony of the sixth Delta state sports festival held at the Polytechnic Stadium, Ozoro at the weekend.
He thanked the state government for their immense contributions towards launching grassroots athletes to stardom.
“I am proud of Delta State because when we go back into history, most of our exploits in sports are traceable to this great state. I commend His Excellency for his commitment and dedication to sports development.
“I invite other state governments to emulate some of the giant strides of Delta state government. Any government that invests in sports will have peace and stability in the state and that speaks for the relative peace in Delta today.”
Dalung also congratulated the athletes and urged them to put in more hard work in their training. He also called on the coaches to identify the talents and nurture them to limelight.
The Minister used the occasion to declare the commitment of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to democratizing the National Sports Federations.
“We must clean up the system, inject new ideas, invite new hands and set the tune of placing Nigeria in its proper perspective. We must provide leadership that is accommodating, focused, visionary, committed and determined to reposition sports in Nigeria.”
In his address, the Governor of Delta State Dr Ifeanyi Okowa promised to make the state sports festival an annual event and congratulated the organizers of the festival as well as athletes and officials for the success of the games.
Okowa promised that Delta State will continue to play a leading role in the development of sports in the country and provide more avenues for youths to participate in sports.
“Sporting activities are vital areas where our young men and women can be meaningfully engaged.
“They keep the young ones busy and away from delinquent behaviours and youth restiveness in all its ramifications. Besides, it also gives opportunity to develop their talents on their way to national and international prominence,” Okowa said.
Athletes in 25 local government councils took part in the five day festival.