Bayelsa State Government Ready To Host Annual Wrestling Tournament

By Imelda Nwajei, Bayelsa.

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The Bayelsa State Government said they are fully ready to host the annual Wrestling Tournament, tagged the Senator Douye Diri National Wrestling Classics, scheduled to hold from August 6th – 10th 2023 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

The tournament started in 2009 and it is an annual competition which brings national athletes from various states across the country. The tournament is usually named by the seating governor in Bayelsa State. About 28 states will be participating in this year’s edition of the tournament

The President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), and also the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Daniel Igali, made the statement in an interview with Voice of Nigeria in his office at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa.

The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Daniel Igali.

“We are very ready to host the competition,” Igali said. “This tournament is the second edition in the administration of Senator Douye Diri as governor. The tournament is also known as the governor’s cup.”

“The competition is a pre-Olympic selections, where the best athletes will be chooen from their various categories that will represent Nigeria next year 2024 at Serbia.”

“The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has decided to develop youths through sports and this is the first time in a very long time where we have seen this much attention in the Ministry of Youths and  Sports,”  Daniel Igali explained.

According to the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, in 2021, Bayelsa State came third in sporting activities in Nigeria and the state again came second at the the National Sports Festival in Asaba, Delta State.

“Since the inception of the tournament, we have discovered a range of talents. Almost all the national athletes were discovered from this competition,” Igali highlighted some of the various achievements in the ministry.

He also disclosed the foreign based athletes from the USA that are on ground for the competition. Also, Blessing Oborududu and Oduayo Adekoroya, who are Commonwealth and Africa champions will compete.

Igali went further to advise the Federal Government to run regular programmes for athletes in order for Nigeria to meet international standards.

In the same vein, the President of the Traditional Wrestling in Nigeria, Olomo Agbadabina, said the main challenges the association is facing is funding. He went further to appeal to the federal government to properly fund the sports industry in order to meet international standards.

He also disclosed that coaches from various states have been training students from primary and secondary schools on traditional wrestling activities.


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