In an efforts to boost the moral of athletes and coaches, Nasarawa state government says it would improve the welfare of representatives in the 21st edition of the National Sports Festival in Asaba, Delta State, towards recording a successful outing .
Addressing the athletes and coaches on Thursday at the Lafia township stadium, Lafia the Nasarawa state capital, State’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Amb. Lucky Isaac Yargwa, accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Isah Mohammed Eyah, and other Directors, to inform them on the government preparedness.
Saturday sun reports that the meeting focussed, among others, on the level of preparation of the athletes and their coaches; athletes and coaches’ need assessment cum comparative superiority, and procedures to embark on to amass medals at the Festival.
In a separate interactive sessions with the athletes and their coaches where areas of urgent attention were discussed towards winning medals’ Leader of the Ministry’s delegation and Commissioner for youth and sports development, Lucky Isaac Yargwa, assured the intending contingent that Team Nasarawa would have nothing to worry about as the Governor, Abdullahi Sule, had approved funds for the State’s participation at the biennial fiesta.
“We are here to intensify our preparations for the fast-approaching National Sports Festival to be hosted by Delta State later in the year.
“The last edition of the Event was held in 2021 rather than in 2020 in Benin City, Edo State, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, and Team Nasarawa came 19th position on the final medals’ table, after winning a total of twenty-two medals.
“This year’s Event comes with many features, including the participation of some foreign African countries, giving it an international status.
“As a State, early preparation is very paramount for our athletes and coaches as it will put them in the best shape for the Event.
“Other States have already begun preparation for the Festival and we are not taking any chances at all.
“It may interest you to know that His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, has graciously approved funds for our participation in the Festival.
“This is a huge morale booster for every member of the team as it will help us to deal with fire-brigade approach and have more time to fine-tune ourselves before the Event proper.
“We are going to procure facilities and equipment that are up-to-date to enhance our performance, not just at the fiesta, but beyond.
“We will also embark on both open and closed door campings within and outside the State to put our athletes in the best perspective for the Event.
“We will ensure strict monitoring of our athletes during the campings so that they don’t get distracted by any influence.
“Also, our athletes and coaches have been told to play clean, live clean and avoid any use of performance enhancing substances as Nasarawa remains a State of reference and emulation by others when it comes to playing clean.”
The Commissioner added that the welfare of the State’s contingent would be given adequate attention to enhance their performance.
“Whatsoever is meant for any member of the contingent would be given to him, and by this, we are very strict on.
“There are also deliberate reward packages we have put in place to spur our athletes and coaches to up their game and scoop medals at the Event.”
Yargwa applauded the Governor for placing premium on youth and sports development in the State, assuring that the timely release of funds would enable the State surpass previous records set.
Lending his voice, Permanent Secretary, Isah Mohammed Eya, called on the athletes and their coaches to report any challenge affecting their Association for urgent attention, stressing that the major priority at the Festival are the main actors – the athletes and their coaches, and that the Ministry would leave no stone unturned to ensure Team Nasarawa does well at the Event.
Some of the athletes and coaches who spoke, thanked Governor Abdullahi Sule for his unending support for sports and youth development, promising to justify the confidence reposed in them at the Sports Festival.
They also appreciated the Commissioner and Ministry for working round the clock to get the best for the State, stressing that they would change the narrative for good at the event by setting a new medal record.
Saturday sun reports that team Nasarawa is expected to travel with over two hundred contingent members, featuring in eighteen(18) sports, including Athletics, Hockey(Male), Volleyball(Male & Female), Taekwondo, Wrestling, Boxing, Judo, Karate, Chess, Scrabble, Basketball (Female), Dart, Tennis, Cycling, Weightlifting, Kung-Fu Wushu, Handball(Male), and Table Tennis.
Saturday sun reports the 21st edition of the National Sports Festival kicks-off on 28th November and would run through to 10th December, 2022, with over 18,000 athletes and coaches as well as more than 2,000 accompanying officials from across States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, will participate at this year’s Event, including four West African Countries.
Also Recall that Delta State are the current defending Champions after winning the last edition, scooping a total of 384 medals, with then host, Edo State, coming 2nd position while Bayelsa State came 3rd.