By Femi Atolagbe
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has congratulated Delta, Lagos, Bayelsa/Ogun States for emerging 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in the just concluded 4th edition of the National Youth Games (NYG) held at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.
The umbrella body of Sports Journalists in Nigeria also commended the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for the improvement witnessed in the organization of the games; urging the Ministry to address challenges noticed during the event in subsequent editions.
These positions were contained in an interview granted by President, Mr Honour Sirawoo shortly after attending the closing ceremony of the games at the Maracana Stadium, University of Ilorin.
The SWAN boss commended the sports writers who covered the championship for exemplary conduct and professionalism exhibited in the discharge of their duties throughout the games.
“We are impressed by the conduct of our people, particularly the coordination of affairs by the host chapter of SWAN, this is what we expect from others” he said.
Sirawoo, congratulated Delta State for consistently winning the games since it started, and second placed Lagos State, as well as Bayelsa/Ogun for coming joint third.
In his words to the athletes, “I want to congratulate the winners whose efforts yielded the required results and urge those who couldn’t win medals in this edition to be more prepared for subsequent editions.
“While I encourage you to do sports because of the unity it creates, and economic empowerment it guarantees; I also want to enjoin you to take your academics seriously, as the combination of the two will brighten your future”.
Sirawoo reiterated his joy in the pacesetting relationship and collaboration that existed between the Ministry and the media during the games, and call for its sustainability in future events.
“As an organization, I want to say that we are indeed happy with the improvement witnessed in this edition over the previous ones, particularly in relationship with the media and hope that it will be sustained”.
He emphasised that the country is beginning to reap the benefits of consistency in the organisation of the youth championship, going by it’s performance at the recently concluded Africa youth games in Algeria.
The SWAN President, therefore urged the Ministry to ensure that the talents discovered are properly harnessed and further groomed to the benefit of the country.