Kwara state Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq today declared open the 6th National Youth Games, at the Sports Complex of the University of Ilorin.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi says the National Youth Games had put the state in a good stead in sports development, stressing that the state was proud to have hosted the rest of Nigeria in the last five years and was willing to use the Games as a yardstick to developing the states sports sector.
The Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare said that the organization of the National Youth Games annually has afforded the Ministry the opportunity to achieve it’s mandate of creating a pool of potential athletes that can continuously represent Nigeria at international youth games, as well as becoming future stars.
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mallam Ismaila Abubakar said that the Games had consistently served as an effective platform for talent identification and development of future stars in sports, while also creating a level playing field for the athletes to showcase their talents to the world.
Also in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Mallam Ismaila Abubakar said the National Youth Games, which was conceived in 2013 has continued to serve it’s core objectives of building a robust grassroots talent pool for the country as well as enhancing sports development in Nigeria.
The Vice Chancellor University of Ilorin Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Professor Sylvia Malomo, while thanking the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and indeed the Federal Government for giving University of Ilorin the opportunity to host the National Youth Games in the last five years said the Games had helped the institution become the sports hub in Nigeria tertiary education sector.
Professor Abdulkareem however, appealed to the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to assist the institution in expanding it’s facilities towards becoming a leading sports institution in Africa.
The opening ceremony featured match past by 31 states and the FCT, who were present as at opening ceremony time, with the contingents decked in beautiful attires and sports wear, as the defending champions, Delta state returning the Games trophy to the Minister.