NYG kicks off in Ilorin as Ondo wins first medal
By Femi Atolagbe
The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Akin Dare has revealed that National Youth Games( NYG) was to empower the teeming youths to achieve their dreams.
The Minister who was represented by the Director Grassroots Development, Dr Ademola Are made the statement during the opening ceremony of the 5th edition of the National Youth Games at the University of Ilorin Sports Complex , Kwara state.
Dare added that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development endorsed the annual National Youth fiesta to achieve the set goals.
He added further that”It was also to stem the tide of the youth restiveness in all the nooks and crannies of the country as well as create career path ways for youths”.
He said the success story of the maiden edition of the competition held at Abuja in 2013 was the discovery of many talented athletes and groomed them to represent Nigeria at the 2014 African Youth Games and 2015 Commonwealth Games in Botswana and Samoa respectively where they won many Laurels for the country.
His words, “third and fourth editions were also successful with the discovery of hundreds of talents, ever since its inception ,the National Youth Games has produced potential athletes who have represented Nigeria at various International Youth Competition.
“The holding of the fifth edition speaks volume of the unflinching commitment of President Buhari to grassroots sports development.
He therefore called for the sustainability of the National Youth Games, saying it has contributed in no small measure to the socio-economic growth and national unity of the country.
While declaring the Games open, Kwara State Governor, Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrazak represented by the permanent secretary Ministry of Sports, Mr Shuaib Akanbi urged the youths to resist the temptation of cutting corner to success.
The governor added that sports is a unify factor that bind the country together, urging the youth to make the spirit of patriotism be their watchword.
He said,”if we can embarked on the training and the retraining of the athletes the issues of unemployment in the country will be checkmated”.
Meanwhile Ondo State has put its name on the medal table as Odunayo Babalola beat her opponent from Akwa Ibom state in 44 KG Judo female category to win the State her first medal.
The General Manager of the State Sports council, Mr Wande Fabuluje expressed optimism that the state would do well in the youth fiesta.
Thirty states would compete in the 34 sporting events that started between 7th to 17th September 2019.
The highlight of the event was the famous artist ,Small Doctor who added glamour to the event.