NSF: Anambra sports boss hails Soludo, promises better outing in Ogun 2024
Patrick Onyedum, Chairman of Anambra Sports Development Commission (ASDC), has expressed gratitude to Gov. Chukwuma Soludo for his political and financial support towards the successful participation of the state in the just-concluded 21st National Sports Festival (NSF) in Asaba, Delta State.
Onyedum, who spoke during the closing ceremony on Saturday, commended the Anambra contingent for their competitive spirit and good conduct.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Anambra, which sent a 249-man team, including 204 athletes and 45 officials to the festival, finished 14th on the final medals table with six gold, nine silver and 24 bronze medals.
Onyedum said Soludo had demonstrated his love for sports and youths of Anambra by ensuring that the state participated in the festival with a large contingent in spite the harsh economy.
“My gratitude goes to Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra, who within eight months in office sponsored the Anambra team to compete with their contemporaries from across the country.
“He has shown that he loves sports. He has proven that he is not only interested in driving the economy, but in building youths through sports,” he said.
Onyedum said the performance of the Anambra team was impressive, given the circumstances of their preparations but promised that next outing would be better.
He regretted that two gold medal prospects who could have won three gold medals, did not join the team because of poaching problems and academics.
The chairman said he would go back to build a state team that would be grassroots based and comprehensive while ensuring that Anambra would come out stronger in the next edition to be hosted by Ogun State in 2024.
“I recall that in the last edition in Edo State, Anambra won six gold but regretted that wonder kids, Stephanie Onusiriuka and Chinecherem Nnamdi, who won two gold and one gold in gymnastics and javelin respectively, did not come with us this year.
“Stephanie contested for Delta State and won two gold but she was stripped of the medals because of double registration. Those medals should have come to Anambra but she was a victim of poaching, even though we wrote a consent letter that she should compete for Delta state.
“This is why we are saying that states should develop their athletes and stop relying on other states’ efforts because they have money to throw around,” he said.
Onyedum commended the quality of facilities and the organisation of the festival by Delta state.
He, however, faulted the initial challenges of power supply in the games villages and transport logistics and urged the next hosts to build on the successes and lapses.
NAN reports that Delta led the medals table with 220 gold, 200 Silver and 128 bronze medals while Bayelsa came second with 132 gold, 115 silver and 90 bronze medals.
Edo state were third with 78 gold, 94 silver and 167 bronze medals; Oyo, fourth with 50 gold, 51 silver and 62 bronze medals and the fifth position went to Lagos which garnered 41 gold, 57 silver and 74 bronze medals.