Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has commended the Delta state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for hosting the Council of Sports meeting at short notice, even as he promised a new dawn for sports development.
Speaking on Friday while declaring open the Council on Sports meeting, Mr. Dare said “what is the Council without the presence of the all states. Delta state has made this possible at short notice, following the #ENDSARS protests which made Lagos to pull out. Delta has once again proved that it is sports loving state.
“After 14 months as Minister, I realised that we need to do a lot to further develop our sports. Nigeria has huge potential which must be explored to the fullest. We want a change beyond just attending competition.
“Sports development means grassroots development, infrastructural development, atheletes welfare and business. We want to change the orientation that sports is play, so that we can have the right template.
“Postponement of the National Sports Festival was one of the toughest decision due to Covid-19 lockdown. It was timely. We thank God that we all survived it and very soon, we look forward to hosting the festival.
“Edo 2020 engages my mind because of the passion and opportunities it affords our youth. We desire that this takes place this year. We can work out the modalities, consult PTF and go to the President for final approval. If we are able to host the festival, it would engage our youths.
“We need to engage our youth through the Unity Cup. We already started it in Oyo and saw the passion by the youth. We plan to have Kano, Kwara and Delta Unity Cup. Each state would be at liberty to decide the sports they have most interest in.
The Principal’s Cup would be national, it is also going to involve other sports. We must align our development to what is obtainable in other parts of the world. We need sporting facilities in our states. We are approaching the Federal Government for a bail-out fund to put most pf the abandoned facilities back.
“We also plan to build mini sports centres in all part of the country. Those that already have would be given facelift.
He expressed optimism that the National Sports Festival will hold next month.