President Buhari Declares 21st National Sports Festival Closed
By Lekan Sowande, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari has declared the 21st edition of the National Sports Festival, tagged Delta 2022, closed with Team Delta winning the competition with 649 medals (320 Gold, 200 Silver and 120 Bronze).
Team Bayelsa clinched the second position with 337 medals (132 Gold, 115 Silver, 90 Bronze), while Team Edo, finished third with 339 medals (78 Gold, 94 Silver, 167 Bronze).
While declaring the Festival closed at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, the President who was represented by Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare, congratulated the Team for its outstanding performance at the event.
“As sportsmen and women, we have been trained to accept defeat at a Sports event as a challenge to do better next time, therefore we are all winners. With that, I congratulate all the Athletes, Coaches, Technical and other Officials for making the Festival a memorable one,” Dare stated.
“I salute the Government and people of Delta State for the successful organisation of the best National Sports Festival. I commend His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, and his team for the high standard of facilities provided for the Festival.”
“I urge you to be creative in putting the facilities to good use that can generate revenue for the coffers of the State Government.”
Dare stated further that sports has over the years proven to be an enabler for economic activities in the Host State and community, adding that it has also fast-tracked the provision of infrastructure and led to the development of new cities.
He urged all States of the Federation and the FCT to continue to partner the Federal Government in its sports development efforts so that together as a nation, we can attain our sports development vision.
Following the evaluation of the bids and the physical visitation to the prospective States, President Muhammadu Buhari announced Ogun State as the next host for the National Sports Festival in 2024.
He congratulated the Government and people of the State for emerging the preferred State and wished them the best of luck in the organisation of the 22nd edition of the National Sports Festival.
Speaking earlier, the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for granting Delta State the opportunity to host the event and assured that the State will use the facilities on ground to generate revenue for the development of sports and other competitions.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the State, Kingsley Otuaro, expressed satisfaction over the excellent performance of the athletes that made the State the leading champion. The Governor wishes all athletes and officials safe journey back to their destination.