We will host Best ever sports festival, Delta pledges
•Tartan Track, Indoor Halls To Be Handed Over Today
• Edo Will Fight For Every Medal, Says Alli
After months of preparations, the 21st National Sports Festival tagged Delta 2022 will finally begin on November 30, with the State government insisting on delivering the best-ever games in the history of Nigeria sports.
With two brand new indoor sports halls, a new swimming pool, a new tartan track, new shooting range all within the Stephen Keshi stadium as well as a new hockey pitch at Okpanam and new hostel facilities at the NYSC camp at Issele-Uku, Secretary of Local Organising Committee (LOC), Chris Anazia declared yesterday that Delta would leave a legacy that will be difficult to surpass in the nearest future.
“Whenever Delta agrees to do anything, we always go for the best,” Anazia said. “We are not just going to host a sports festival, but the best ever in the history of the games. I am sure by the time the festival ends on December 10, all Nigerian athletes and officials will praise the government and people of Delta State for a job well done.”
Apart from the hostel facilities being put in place at Issele-Uku, Governor Okowa is also building hostels in some schools in Asaba to serve as accommodation for the athletes. According to Anazia, the arrival date for the state-contingent is November 28 and 29, while the opening ceremony will hold on November 30.
Also, adviser to the LOC, Solomon Ogba, has revealed that the Festival Torch of Unity, which has been moving around the country will arrive in the state on November 28, and will travel around all local government headquarters for chairmen and council officials to have a feel. Ogba, a former Sports Commissioner, ex-President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently the First Vice President of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), stated that the torch would arrive in Asaba on the day of the opening ceremony.
“The flag hoisting ceremony will take place at 4 pm on the day of the opening ceremony but before then, the first event for the Games, cycling, will hold in the morning of that day.”
A total of 11, 000 athletes will participate, 2,000 more than the number that participated at the last edition held in Edo State.
Meanwhile, the executive chairman of Edo State Sports Commission, Yussuf Amuda Alli, said the state is not going to the competition to make up the number but to fight for all medals at stake and make podium appearances in all.
In a statement signed by Olukayode Thomas, Alli’s Media Advisor, he said with the backing of the Edo State Government, the athletes must return from Delta with a basket full of medals. He revealed that they have invested heavily in the team that will represent the state and the only way to show appreciation is to fight for every medal and win it.