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Ministry signs partnership deal with Bayelsa on grassroots development

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Sports Minister, Sunday Dare speaking to students of the Bayelsa Sports Academy in Yenagoa… on Sunday.

Okolobiri Community wins Restoration Cup
As part of its efforts to stimulate grassroots sports development, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has sealed a deal with the Bayelsa State Government to support the Asoama Sports Academy.

The agreement, concluded yesterday with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by both parties following a visit to the academy by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, will ensure that the academy spots and grooms young talents for the country.

Speaking on the agreement, the minister revealed that the Asoama Sports Academy, which has more than 300 students, has been added to the list of facilities up for adoption under the Adoption Initiative of the Ministry.

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“Asoama represents the model we really want where youngsters can combine educational advancement side by side with sports development.

“In the spirit of this, the Ministry deemed it wise to partner with the Bayelsa State Government with regards to the Asoama Sports Academy and to as much as possible make it one of our resource centres.

“The MoU, of course, will in its letter and spirit look at different levels of support over logistics. Also, the Ministry will partner international sporting agencies at the Federal Government level.

“I think it will go a long way to accelerate and deepen sports development in this country,” he affirmed.

Dare, who had earlier officially commissioned some sports facilities at the renovated Samson Siasia Sports Complex, described Bayelsa as a theatre of sporting activities, particularly in the area of wrestling.

According to the minister, the sporting facilities, such as the wrestling theatre, tartan tracks, artificial turf, flood light, scoreboard and others are of international standard akin to the infrastructure he saw in Morocco.

He expressed delight at the number of quality football teams competing in the Restoration Cup and also praised Governor Dickson for encouraging grassroots sports development in the state.

He directed the organisers of the tournament to forward a list of outstanding players to enable his Ministry to nurture and place them in various national teams.

“I am impressed with the investments my friend and the governor has made in encouraging sports and youths development.

“As soon as I came in, we drove straight to the theater of wrestling. I saw the good works done there.

“Bayelsa is the wrestling theatre of Africa, it has made Nigeria stand tall in the medals category in various international sports competitions.

“I must publicly thank you for promising to match the 60,000 dollars benchmark given by the international wrestling body to complete that place, which is the wrestling camp for this country.

“As you exit power, I urge you never to look back when it comes to supporting sports and youth development because any investment in that sector will endure in a long time.”

In his response, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson expressed confidence that the MoU would bring about “an improved, better developed sports academy.”

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He expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing the minister, whom, he said, had brought a turnaround in sports development.

Earlier, Okolobiri Community in Yenagoa local council had on Sunday emerged winners of the third Seriake Dickson’s Restoration Grassroots Football Tournament by beating its Ekeremor counterpart on penalties.

The boys from Okolobiri defeated the Ekeromor boys on 4—2 on penalties after the match ended one goal apiece in regulation time.

Dare, Seriake Dickson, former number one African sport queen, Mary Onyali, watched the action soaked encounter among other ex-international.

The third place match was won by defending champions, Peretorugbene, who walloped Nembe City FC by 5-0.

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