The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has affirmed that the ongoing 5th National Youth Games has been a veritable platform for discovering young and talented athletes, who have in time past, made the Nation proud at various international events. The Honourable Minister expressed optimism that promising talents that would further bring glory to the nation will be discovered during the two weeks fiesta.
2, According to Mr. Sunday Dare, ‘’one of the cardinal objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is to empower the teeming youths to achieve their dreams hence the National Youth Games which the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has endorsed as a driving force to achieve the set goals and also to stem the tide of youth restiveness in all nooks and crannies of the country.’’
3. He gave this indication during the official opening ceremony of the 5th National Youth Games at the University of Ilorin Sporting Complex, Ilorin, Kwara state. Mr. Dare, who was ably represented at the Games by the Director, Grassroot Sport Department, Dr Ademola Are, enjoined the over 3,600 athletes participating at this year’s National Youth Games in 34 sports to compete clean without the use of prohibited substance as stipulated by Anti-Doping Agency. Furthermore, he urged the Youths participating in the Game to see their role as a stepping stone to greater heights in building their own future, adding there is joy in participation and sportsmanship.
4. Earlier ahead of the commencement of the games, the Minister paid a courtesy visit to the Kwara state Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi in his office even as he commended the Kwara state government for its support to ensuring a successful hosting of the Games.
5. Mr Dare explained that the Federal Government is committed to reviving various sporting activities and culture of sports to discover young athletes who would go on to represent their states and the country at National and international levels. He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his unflinching commitment to grassroot sports development in Nigeria.
6. In his response, the Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi noted that Kwara state has been supporting the National Youth Games and would continue to do so to make sure hidden talents are uncovered among the youths in the state and country at large. Mr Alabi seized the opportunity to call on the three ties of government to use sports to positively engage youth and reduce poverty.
7. The National Youth Games is an annual event that covers all the 36 states of the federation competing in 34 sporting activities including shooting which had just been introduced. It is interesting to note that over 3,600 athletes are currently participating in the 5th edition of the National Youth Games, with Delta State parading the highest contingent size of 380 athletes, followed closely by Anambra with 218, Edo 216, Bayelsa 172 and Akwa-Ibom 168.
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