Delta, Sports Ministry begin action for 2022 National Sports Festival


By Fred EDOREH (With Uzuazor Avre in Delta)

Sports Ministry, Delta flag off early preparation for 2022 National Sports Festival

Host state, Delta, and the Federal Ministry of Sports have flagged off early towards the successful organisation of the 2022 National Sports Festival, the 21st edition of the event which is regarded as Nigeria’s Olympic.

The Delta State Governer, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa and the Minister of Sports, Chief Sunday Dare, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Monday during an extraordinary meeting of the National Council on Sports held in Asaba.

As part of the process, the National Council on Sports approved November 2 to 15, 2022 as the dates for the event.

Speaking at the occasion, the Minister thanked Delta State for hosting the all important sports meeting, noting that the resolutions of the meeting puts the National Sports Festival effectively on gear.

“This meeting today puts us at the cusp of another National Sports Festival (NSF) which we refer to as our own Olympics.

“The National Council on Sports meeting today has become necessary in order to update Council on developments, and deliberations on issues that concern the hosting of the 21st National Sports Festival which Delta State had earlier won the rights to host in November 2022”.

“Interestingly, Delta State came first at the recently concluded Edo 2020. Now, we are happy that they have the opportunity not just to host, but to validate their first position. Arising from the award of the hosting rights to Delta State, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has continued to engage the Host State on the need to fine-tune the road map in preparation for the NSF”, Dare emphasised.

The Minister commended the National Council on Sports for their commitment and steadfastness to sports development, lauding them for the support he and the Ministry have received over the past two years.

Expressing gratitude to the host, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, for his immense contributions to sports development, Dare noted that the successes of Nigeria in sports won’t be complete without the contribution of the State and the giant strides of her athletes.

He pointed out that the feat achieved by the nation at the just concluded Tokyo Olympics won’t have been possible without the 12 athletes adopted by the Governor under the Ministry’s Adopt-an-Athlete initiative.

” He single-handedly adopted the largest number of athletes and we are glad that out of the two medals we won, one of them was won by one of the athletes adopted by the Governor. That is Ese Brume.”

In a bid to exalt the National Sports Festival as Nigeria’s version of the new Olympics, the Minister announced that the Ministry in collaboration with the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has established a Department that is solely responsible for the National Sports Festival and Para-Sports.

“With this development, Para-Sports has equally been given the desired attention.”

Governor Okowa in his remarks, thanked the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for the opportunity to host the National Sports Festival, promising to not only surpass the standards of Edo 2020, but make the 21st edition of the games the best in its history.