Kwara State Sports Council today left for the 20th National Sports Festival in Edo state with 233 contingent, 128 more that the whole contingent that represented the state at the 2018 festival in Abuja.
The list includes 166 athletes, who will compete in 27 events, the coaches, secretaries, protocol officers, cleaners, security, helpers, other accompanying officials and officials from the Ministry of Sports and Youths Development, led by the Permanent Secretary, Barrister Iyabo Banire.
The 27 events includes athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, cricket (male), dart, scrabble, squash, tennis, para-tennis, karate, taekwondo, judo, wrestling, cycling, table tennis, golf, volleyball, deaf and blind athletics, power-lifting, weight lifting, wushu kungfu, kick boxing, para-table tennis and para-athletics.
While briefing newsmen before their departure for Edo state, the Director of Sports, Mallam Alarape Atanda said that the 166 athletes across the 27 events were carefully selected, based on merit and strength.
According to him, ‘our target was to go to Edo state and win medals, as we have mapped out our strategies to maximise participation, especially in areas of our strength’
‘By doing so, we cut down on some areas, as we are not going for jamboree, and not to complete numbers.
Mallam Alarape commended Kwara Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for raising the stakes, especially approving money for both open and closed camping, as well as for the festival proper.
He also commended the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, coaches and secretaries and the other officials, for their understanding throughout the preparation for the festival.
He charged the athletes to put the interest of the state at heart, and be good ambassadors of the state by competing fairly for medals at the festival.