By Femi Atolagbe
Two weeks after the just concluded 20th National Sports Festival (NSF),tagged “Edo 2020”, the General Manager of the Ondo State Sports Council (OSSC), Mr Henry Omoyele Babatunde has facilitated the return of the state’s athletes that competed for other states at the competition.
In a chat with Sporting Hope in Akure, Babatunde said he had received Badminton players and Wrestlers that competed and won gold medals for other states back.
The former Swimming silver medalists said we let them see reasons they should return back to the state where they were discovered.
He added that “we received them back through their coaches, we had meetings with them and their coaches and they have assured us of their commitment to return to the state where they were discovered.
The General Manager had earlier promised to ensure the return of all the state athletes that competed for other states at the just concluded festival.
Recalled , that three of the state athletes had won gold, Bronze medals for Delta and Edo states at the games while several others also won gold for other states in other sports.
Not satisfied with the development ,Ondo State Sports council General Manager vowed to use all legitimate means to get the state athletes back into the fold.
His efforts has now been yielding result with the return of the Badminton team and Wrestlers, while others are on their way back to their source.
According to the general manager, “sports is about money and these athletes need money, so we are going to ensure that we pay them their wages regularly with their training allowance.
“We will motivate them, even if we can’t pay as much as their adopted states, we are going to be closer to what they get over there and ensure it’s regular.
“We will improve on the facilities at the Sports complex to aid their training, we can’t afford not to perform at the future national competitions.
“We thank the state government for increasing our 2021 budget and approved capital project for us.”
The athletes said they were ready to return to the state where they were discovered, saying the management has called us back, we have terminated our contracts with our adopted states, we are resuming training immediately.
“Our mind and souls are here, God on our side, we are going to raise the state flag higher in future competitions”.