Team Delta begins final preparation for National Youth Games
• Lagos takes 260 athletes to camp
Defending champions, Team Delta, has commenced their final preparation for the 2021 National Youth Games scheduled for Ilorin, Kwara State.
Athletes from all the states of the federation will arrive in Ilorin on October 10 for the event, which is the sixth edition.
Chairman of Delta State Sport’s Commission, Tonobok Okowa, told The Guardian yesterday that the athletes and coaches have begun camping for the Games.
Team Delta won the fifth edition of the National Youth Games in 2019 after garnering 104 medals. Delta had won all past editions of the game since its inception in 2013.
Team Delta topped the medals table at the end of the South-South zonal elimination, which took place at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, last month.
The state organised a mini-trial for the athletics team three weeks ago to select its athletes.
The mini-trial, according to Okowa, who is also the president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), is to ensure that the athletics squad surpasses its 2019 record.
Meanwhile, following the completion of screenings by its 33 sports associations, the Lagos State Sports Commission will on Sunday move its athletes and coaches into a closed camp ahead of the National Youth Games.
According to the commission, athletes will be camped at Faith Plaza, Bariga, from October 3 to10, when the athletes will leave for Ilorin, Kwara State for the games.
According to Director-General of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Oluwatoyin Gafaar: “The 260 athletes will participate in 33 sports, which are athletics, deaf athletics, badminton, boxing, canoeing, chess, cycling, darts, fives, gymnastics, golf, judo, karate, scrabble, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, ayo and kokowa.
“Others are weightlifting, wrestling, wushu kung-fu, para-athletics, para table tennis, handball, volleyball, football, hockey and rugby.”
He assured the athletes and coaches that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has provided all the necessary logistics and funds for the camping and execution of the National Youths Games in Ilorin.
Recall that Team Lagos placed second at the fifth National Youth Games, also held in Ilorin in September 2019.