FG’s commitment to grassroots sports devt unwavering, says Dare
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare says the Federal Government is committed to implementing policies and programmes which would effectively boost sports at the grass roots in Nigeria.
He said this during the inauguration of the 2020 Abia State Schools Sports Festival and Okezie Ikpeazu Table Tennis Championship Cup.
The event was held at Osusu-Amaukwa Primary School, Osusu community in Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA).
The event which had the theme “Catching Them Young” was organised by the Abia State Ministry of Youths and Sports Development in collaboration with the state Ministry of Education.
The Minister, who was represented by Ademola Are, the ministry’s Director of Grassroots Sports Development, said “the Federal Government attaches great importance” to sports at the grass roots because of its impact on youth development.
He expressed dismay over the dwindling performance of Nigerian athletes in world sports competitions, adding that the development of sports at the grass roots would help however in addressing the issue.
Dare commended the state government for organising the sports event and described it as an opportunity to harness the potential of young people.
“Sports is a language that brings unity in Nigeria and this emphasises the importance of grassroots sports development,” he said.
In his remarks, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia said the state government was determined to revive sports at the grassroots level in the state.
Ikpeazu expressed confidence that the event would herald the restoration of sports activities, increase wealth creation and ensure the well-being of the citizenry in Abia.
The governor added that the event had shown the need for ministries to collaborate in helping Abia government to achieve excellence in academics, sports and health.
He urged the participants to consider the event as a platform for them to develop their abilities and contribute to the growth of sports in Abia.
Earlier, Emeka Ikwuagwu, the state’s Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, ad said “our intention is to expose these school children to as many sports activities as possible with readily available facilities.
“It is our hope that the first set to be trained at the Nsulu Games Village will be talents harnessed from this event,” he said.
Ikwuagwu said the sports festival would last for three weeks and that about 800 schools would be participating in the event.
He added that a modern sports hall would be built for any school that emerges as the overall winners in the competition.
The event featured the unveiling of the festival logo, mascot and jingle, as well as lighting of the festival’s torch of unity.