The Executive Governor of Delta State Rt Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori has enjoined sports technocrats to promote a standard AthIetes succession plans for Nigeria.
He also described sports as a tool for Youth empowerment, Peace, social inclusion and national integration.
He made these remarks in his address at the opening ceremony of the 7th National Youth Games on Saturday at the Stephen Kesh international stadium, in Asaba, Delta State Capital.
The governor shared the role of declaring open the Games with Sports Minister Hon. John Enoh, who stood-in for President Ahmed Bola Tinubu at the occasion.
After expressing his gratitude to Delta State Sports Commission team for successfully packaging the Youth Games to grand start in the State, remarked that Sports promotes, Development, Peace, tolerance and respect.
“The contributions Sports makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as health, education and social inclusion objectives are enormous.”
He pointed out that “Our belief in these ideals is unshakable. Hence, the Government of Delta State has continued to make its resources available to host national and international sporting competitions
Amidst cheers from the young ones and spectators in the Stadium, the Governor continued by saying, “The National Youth Games has come to stay and a powerful vehicle to discover new talents from the grassroots and ensure that there is a standard programme for athletes’ succession in the country.
He recalled that the National Youth Games has also proven to be a cost -effective and reliable tool to promote national unity and advance development and peace agendas of both the national and sub-national governments.
According to him.
“When effectively harnessed, sports has the power to positively impact on the economic and social wellbeing of any society”, he said.
In 2018, The state hosted the African Senior Athletics Championship, and, in November 2022, the 21st National Sports Festival. The Governor reiterated that the Stephen Keshi Stadium has become a venue of choice for hosting national football championships, as Delta is becoming the mecca of sports in Nigeria.
He assured all participants of a peaceful and exciting games as security personnel, protocol officers, traffic management teams, and volunteers are on ground to ensure a peaceful, safe, and secure environment for athletic competition.
The governor finally assures that adequate arrangements for hitch-free movement across the length and breadth of the city adding that there has not been a single report of security breach in previous competitions that the state hosted, and, by God’s grace, this year’s event will not be an exception.
“To all our athletes, the moment of truth has arrived. Your family, friends, and well-wishers are rooting for you to seize the moment and launch yourself into national prominence. As the saying goes, records are meant to be broken. So, I challenge you to set new records and take Nigerian sports to another level, now, let the games begin”.
Earlier in his address, the Delta State Sports Commission Chairman,, Chief Tonobok Okowa also welcomed all participants and urged Team Delta to win for the state and give him a parting gift as this would be his last Youth Games as the Commission’s boss.