Athletes, coaches praise Okowa for accepting to host 7th National Youth Games
For accepting to host the 7th edition of the National Youth Games, athletes and coaches from across the country have showered praises on Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
At the end of the 6th edition of the Games in Ilorin, Kwara State, in 2021, the hosting right for the 7th edition was awarded to Kano State.
But it did not see the light of day, prompting the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development to award the hosting rights to Delta State on Thursday.
The choice of Delta State was reached at a meeting of Stakeholders for the Games, which was held on the sidelines of the recently concluded 21st National Sports Festival, as contained in a press release signed by Mohammed Manga, Director, Press, and Public Relations, of the sports ministry.
Delta State, which hosted the 21st National Sports Festival from November 30 to December 10, 2022, will host the Youth Games from February 8 to18, 2023.
Athletes and coaches, who spoke with The Guardian yesterday, praised Governor Okowa, who is the Vice Presidential aspirant of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election for his love and determination to raise the standard of Nigeria sports.
“Okowa has just demonstrated that he cares so much for Nigerian sports. If we have such a man in the Presidency, I am sure our sports will take a good shape,” sprinter, Damola Ajayi, said in a telephone chat from her base in Abeokuta, Ogun State, yesterday.
On his part, coach Kayode Oseni, who was part of Delta 2022 National Sports Festival said: “Governor Okowa has won our respect. He spent so much money in providing the best sporting facilities for Nigerian youths to showcase their talent at the National Sports Festival last month, and now, he is hosting the Youth Games. We need such a person in Abuja.”
The National Youth Games has since inception becomes a veritable ground for harvesting raw talents that abound within the country. Team Delta has won all editions of the Youth Games.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Delta Sports Commission and President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Chief Tonobok Okowa, has said that the Delta 2023 National Youth Games will hold at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, and not Dennis Osadebay University as speculated by some online media.
“I don’t know who is spreading such news that the Youth Games will hold at Dennis Osadebay University. It will hold at the Stephen Keshi Stadium,” Okowa told The Guardian yesterday.