Governor Emmanuel celebrates stars of National Youth Games
Governor Udom Emmanuel has expressed his delight at the spectacular feat of 16 gold, 15 silver and 15 bronze medals achieved by Akwa Ibom athletes at the just concluded National Youth Games held in Ilorin.
Coming on the heels of the successful maiden Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival in Uyo, Governor Emmanuel, who is the progenitor of the Youth Sports fiesta, is happy that “we are already reaping the fruits of our grassroots sports development.”
From fourth position last year to second this year, the state has made remarkable progress and by National Sports Commission’s statistics, Akwa Ibom is the “greatest mover” this year, placing second out of the 34 states and Abuja that participated.
A manifestation of the above assertion was the state winning two of the three track events that were reserved for the closing ceremony of the Games last Saturday.
“Akwa Ibom was an all round competitor as their medals came from a variety of sports. They won gold(s) in weightlifting, tennis, boxing, scrabble, chess, track and field, wrestling etc. and were in the finals of nearly all the sports,” he added.
Also speaking on the feat, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Sir Monday Ebong Uko said, “I knew that we were going to do well in Ilorin, but not this well. I am happy that we acted on Governor Emmanuel’s directive that we organize a Youth Sports Festival for Primary Schools and colleges in Akwa Ibom and it threw up a lot of potentials in all the Sports.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports, Paul Bassey, who was in Ilorin, said “that was one occasion where it felt good to be an Akwa Ibomite.”
He said, “The closing ceremony was instructive. Of the three event medals presented by the Sports Minister, two gold and one silver medal went to Akwa Ibom.
“During the Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival, graced by the Minister of Sports in March, a lot of budding talents in Primary Schools and Colleges were discovered and tracked and they formed sixty per cent of our contingent to Ilorin.
“The revolution is on, thanks to Governor Emmanuel and the Sports Commissioner whom we call “Sports Joseph” for his uncanny translation and implementation of the governor’s sports dreams and aspirations.”