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Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has said that the importance of grassroot sports development cannot be over emphasised.

He said this while speaking to newsmen at the grand finale of the Kwara State Sports Festival on Saturday.

He added that the resuscitation of the sports event was a step in the right direction. “This is where we want to be when it comes to sports development and by that, I mean the promotion of grassroots sports development. We want to see the commitment of State Governors to grassroots sports development.

“Fifteen years after the last sports festival was held, we are having this, so there is a renaissance taking place and I am always very glad when I see the youth involved in sporting activities. We are looking for young talents that we can nurture in athletics, weight lifting, boxing and I am really glad to be here.”

The Minister who also spoke on the flagging off of the Unity Torch by President Muhammadu Buhari in preparation for the National Sports Festival at the State House, Abuja, said the event will also serve to further develop Sports in Nigeria.


He also assured of the readiness of team Nigerian in athletics for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“What happened yesterday with Tobi Amusan, who is now globally seeded No. 2 IAAF which is now world athletics rating, signposts the future of Nigerian athletics.

“We have the Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Blessing Okagbare, Divine Oduduru. This country has one of the best relay teams about the third or the fourth in the world, we were second before and we are trying to reenact where we were before when it comes to relay. So athletics wise we are ready for the Olympics.”

The Kwara State Sports Festival was held at the Kwara Sports complex with the Minister as special guest. The Governor of the State, Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman resuscitated the event 15 years after the last Festival was held.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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