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Osun explains state’s poor standard in sports, plans festival to discover talents

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Osun State Government has said that series of protests by athletes and lack of cooperation by other stakeholders in the sector are factors against its sports development.

Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Yemi Lawal, told sports journalists in Osogbo yesterday that people failed to understand the sports policy he wanted to bring into the sector.

He said Osun has never recorded any tangible achievement in sports, adding that his desire to do things differently as a youth met stiff resistance from people in the sports sector.

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“As a youth, I want to do things differently, but people didn’t understand this. This led to series of protests, which enveloped my tenure. The thing is we cannot be doing things the same way and expect different results. We have to think out of the box and bring on board a new system.

“Osun has never made any significant achievement in sports because there is no record to show for it. Even in the recently concluded National Sports Festival, which our athletes participated, I haven’t seen any report from the sports council to show our strengths and weaknesses. This current challenge we are going through will continue until we all retrace our steps and agree to do things the right way.”

On the present administration’s efforts to reposition the sector, the commissioner revealed that Governor Gboyega Oyetola has approved the proposal to organise sports festival to discover more talents across the nooks and crannies of the state.

“One of the efforts we are putting in place to identify new talents is the upcoming State Sports Festival, which has been approved by Mr. Governor and will come up by August this year. We discovered that we have been recycling same athletes for national competitions and it is high time we replaced them with new, agile ones to be able to produce new champions in all categories of sports.”

Lawal admitted that the state does not have enough sports facilities, saying the ministry will liaise with other towns and institutions like Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife to use some of their facilities for the upcoming event.

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