Sports

7th NYG: Ogun SWAN Chairman lauds Gov. Abiodun For Prompt Release Of funds For Athletes, Coaches

ASABA – Chairman, Ogun State Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Comrade Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji has applauded the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for the prompt release of funds for the athletes and coaches at the ongoing 7th National Youth Games (NYG) in Asaba, Delta state.

The SWAN Chairman gave the commendation while addressing journalists at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta state.

Ogunsiji said the prompt release of funds was a morale booster for the athletes and coaches participating at the teenage sports festival, noting that the gesture would enhance the performance of the athletes.

He charged the young athletes to reciprocate the gesture by winning many medals for the state to justify the investment of the Ogun state government in them.

He equally called on the state government to begin preparation in earnest for the 22nd National Sports Festival in 2024 billed to be held in Ogun state.

He urged Governor Abiodun to make funds readily available for the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the construction of some sporting facilities ahead of the festival next year.

According to him, hosting the National Sports Festival is not a tea party, stressing that early implementation of some of the facilities would prevent any further postponement or eventual loss of the hosting right.

“Honestly, we can never have it better than this. I’ve gone round the athletes camp in Asaba and I can see the team spirit.

“I’ve independently investigated if the athletes are well paid, and I can authoritatively confirm to you that, all the 141 athletes and 114 coaches and officials have been credited since last week before the official flag-off of the event.

“So, you can see that, we need to commend the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for releasing funds early for the Sports Council management. Unlike Ekiti state, our athletes are well-kitted and fed well. I’ve seen the quality of food they give the athletes in the morning, afternoon, and evening. This is worthy of commendation. This is because this is the first time, the state government would release funds for the sports festival without the athletes resorting to protest at the governor’s office.

“I just want to charge our athletes to make the Governor and the state proud by concentrating on their games and give back to the state by winning a handful of medals in this event. They cannot fail and must not discourage the government.

“I want to urge Governor Abiodun to make funds available immediately to the 2023 National Sports Festival LOC to start preparation for the festival. We need to show to the world that we are ready to host.

“I’ve gone round the facilities in Asaba, and I can tell you, Ogun state still has lots to cover. And these are not something we can do in a hurry. We need planning now.”

Recall that, Ogun finished in the eighth place on the final medals table at the 6th National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara state after winning 8 gold, 13 silver, and 24 bronze.

Already, Ogun state has won 1 silver, 2 bronze in the ongoing 7th edition in Asaba in Judo and Para Table Tennis.

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