Kwara state Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that the performance of Kwara athletes at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival was a direct implication of his administration’s investment and commitment to sports and youth development.
The Governor stated this today while receiving and honouring the state’s contingents to the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival, for their outstanding performances.
The Governor, who was represented by the State Head of Service, Mrs Modupe Susan Oluwole said that his government has embarked on renovation and construction of facilities, aimed at not only encouraging more participation of youth in sports, but to add value to the sector.
He advised the athletes never to rest on their oars but continue to work hard and be the best they can be in their chosen career.
He pledged government’s support to the Sports Council ahead of the National Youth Games coming up in October, at the University of Ilorin.
As a reward for good work from the athletes, the Governor announced N250,000 for each gold medalist, N150,000 for silver medalist and N75,000 for bronze medalist, while for the coaches, he announced N250,000 for gold, N200,000 for silver and N100,000 for bronze, all amounting to N9million in total. Kwara won seven gold, five silver and 31 bronze medals at the festival.
Special cash was also pledged to Eniola Bolaji Mariam, for winning gold medal at the para-badminton championship in Spain.
Representing the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Chairman House Committee on Sports, Hon. Awolola Olumide Ayokunle thanked the Governor for the great achievement in sports in the short period.
Awolola revealed that, sports were nothing to write home about before this administration, saying Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s government has changed the narrative for good with many projects at the stadium speaking volume on his efforts.
The lawmaker assured of the Kwara House of Assembly’s optimum supports to the athletes, and to sports development generally in the state.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Iyabo Funke Banire also thanked his Excellency for recognizing the outstanding performance of the athletes.
Banire said through the Governor’s support at the festival, Kwara was ranked the best among North Central states and second in the whole of Northern Nigeria, saying, “it has never been so good in the history of the state”.
The Director of Sports, Mallam Alarape Ibrahim Atanda in his remarks confessed that the Edo 2020 festival is Kwara’s best since the last past five editions.
Alarape said the last festival in 2018, they got N7m from the government while this time, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq gave out N36m for state’s participation in the multi-sports event.
He appealed to the state government to consider employing the employable athletes, and also increase the subvention of the Kwara State Sports Council.
Alarape then thanked the athletes for their dedication and commitment, charging them to do more for themselves and the state.