Delta hits 28 gold as Lagos wins medals in swimming
• We’ve Made UNILORIN Gateway Of Nigerian Sports, Says VC
Team Delta has maintained its lead on the medals table at the ongoing sixth edition of the National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara State, after garnering 15 gold medals on day three to hit 28 gold medals.
The defending champions claimed a total of seven gold medals in the swimming event yesterday, and also got gold in Darts and two gold medals in the weightlifting to maintain its unassailable lead.
Team Lagos, however, won 10 silver and six bronze medals in the swimming events. Speaking after the swimming events, Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, Tonobok Okowa, commended the athletes for their commitment and doggedness, asserting that despite the intense competition from their opponents, they have remained unshaken in their resolve to return as champions.
He assured the athletes that Deltans were solidly behind them, especially Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. The President of the Nigeria Aquatic Federation, Chief Chinonye Dafe-Aliyu, said what the states have done so far, is commendable, stressing that it is clear Nigeria could become a force in swimming in future.
She assured athletes of a better environment, as the Aquatic Federation during her tenure will explore avenues to put the country on the international swimming map.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has said that Kwara State has now become the gateway of Nigerian sports, following the state hosting of the last five editions of the Youth Games.
The competition, which has become the bedrock of the nation’s sports, was first hosted in Abuja in 2013 and UNILORIN has made sure the competition holds yearly.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Abdulkareem, represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Sylvia Malomo, said that UNILORIN would continue to take the lead, particularly in the area of positioning the Nigerian youths for future challenges.
“Whenever I see the young ones in sports competitions, I remember my youth days. UNILORIN has taken it as a responsibility to host this National Youth Games as a way of preparing the young ones for future challenges. The success of Nigerian sports is in the youth. If we get it right at this level, the future looks very bright for us,” she said.
Malomo thanked the sports ministry and the Federal Government for giving the university the opportunity to host the competition in the last five years, adding that the Games had helped the institution become the sports hub in the Nigerian tertiary education sector.
Prof. Malomo, however, appealed to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to assist UNILORIN expand its facilities towards becoming a leading sports institution in Africa and the world.
The opening ceremony featured match past by the various states’ contingent, who were decked in beautiful attires and sports wear. The defending champions, Team Delta, presented the trophy to the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, who was represented by the newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Mallam Ismaila Abubakar.