Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has urged contingent to 21st National Sports Festival tagged Asaba 2022 to be good ambassadors of the state and ensure they come back with laurels.
Akeredolu represented by the commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Bamidele Ologun stated this while receiving the Torch of Unity in Akure.
Akeredolu said the Torch of Unity symbolised peace and Unity , adding that the National sports Festival provides another opportunity for the promotion of national unity through sporting activities among the states in Nigeria.
The Governor also said his administration will continue to support sports development to harness youthful engagement in the state.
He added that “Sports is crucial to the REDEEM agenda of his administration, it’s on this regard that the government is leaving no stone unturned in preparing the state’s athletes towards having a good outing at the National sports Festival slated for Asaba, Delta State” .
“Ondo State is known for grassroots sports development which has contributed in no small measure to the national pool of talents that have and are still representing Nigeria at International sporting competition.
“We finished 11th in the last edition of the festival held in Edo State with 10gold, 9gold and 29bronze medals, this time, our target is to finish in first three on the medals table.”
The Governor charged the youths to be useful for the society and entice sports federation to draw from the abundant talents in Ondo State to represent the country at international competitions.
While handing over the torch of unity to Ondo State Governor, the chairperson,Torch of Unity Sub -committee for national sports festival Mrs Amaka Ashiofu urged athletes and their coaches to keep working hard and ensure they win something good back home.
In his welcome address,the General Manager of the state sports council, Mr Henry Babatunde revealed that Ondo State will participate in 20sports with 129 athletes as against 125 athletes the featured in for Ondo in Edo 2020 .
He added that with the quality of athletes the state is going to parade at the national fiesta the state will perform better than last edition held in Edo State.
According to him, Since we are going to the festival with games we have comparative advantage, in sports like Table tennis, Wrestling, Judo Boxing and kickboxing we are very hopeful that we are going to have a better result compared to what we have in Edo 2020.”