Sports Ministry Acknowledges Economic Benefits Of National Youth Games
Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Senator John Enoh, has acknowledged the positive impact of the National Youth Games, saying it generates both direct and indirect employment opportunities in the sports value chain, particularly for the host state.
The 7th edition of the NYG ended on Saturday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, with hosts Delta State emerging victorious with a total of 116 medals.
Team Delta clinched an impressive haul of 51 gold, 34 silver and 31 bronze medals, securing its seventh consecutive title at the NYG. Team Lagos secured the second position with a total of 61 medals, comprising 21 gold, 19 silver and 21 bronze, while Edo State claimed the third spot with 21 gold, 15 silver and 17 bronze medals.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Sports Minister, John Enoh, praised the Delta State Government for being a valuable partner in sports development.
The Minister, who was represented by the Acting Director of Grassroots Sports Development, Patrick Okeke, stated that the NYG consistently meets expectations each year and played a significant role in nurturing athletes who had gone on to win laurels for the nation.
Additionally, the Minister emphasised that the games had a positive impact on the state’s economy, just as he expressed the Ministry’s readiness to explore partnerships that would further enhance sports development in the country. Over 400 athletes had been identified from the participating states at the Games.
Secretary to Delta State Government, Kingsley Emu, who represented Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, congratulated Team Delta and all participating teams for their remarkable efforts. Oborevwori commended the Local Organising Committee (LOC), led by Tonobok Okowa, for their dedication which contributed to the success of the games.
“After seven days of intense sports competition, rivalries and pomp and pageantry, the curtain draws on the seventh National Youth Games,” Governor Oborevwori said. “New champions have emerged, new talents discovered and new heights have been attained by the participants and organisers.”
“I congratulate the winners and all the participants. In the last one week, we watched with admiration as you dazzled us with your talents and abilities, the will to win, and the spirit of excellence.”
Governor Oborevwori also commended those who did not secure medals, encouraging them to maintain their champion spirit and apply the lessons learned in their daily lives. He emphasised the importance of preparation, discipline, focus, teamwork and sportsmanship as principles that lead to success, both in sports and life.
The Governor extended his gratitude to the organisers, including the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, Delta State Sports Commission and the Local Organising Committee for their significant contributions to the development of sports in the country.
“I thank you for the excellence and remarkable tenacity that you displayed in your organisation of this event. You made us proud, and may the good Lord continue to strengthen you for the work you are doing,” he added.
He also praised the coaches, officials, security personnel, protocol and welfare teams, as well as volunteers who dedicated their time, energy, and resources to make the event a resounding success.
Delta State will host the next edition of the National Youth Games, going by the agreement it signed with the Sports Ministry earlier this year.