* As Okowa Showers Praises On Minister, Marketer
There are strong indications that the National Sports Festival will be expanded in future with about 10 countries from various parts of Africa participating.
Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare who dropped this hint on Wednesday in Asaba stressed that it was important for Nigeria to be staging an event that could be like a mini-Olympic Games on the continent.
Over 16,000) athletes from across the country will converge on Delta State to compete for medals in 40 sports from November 2 to 15, 2022.
Dare, who was speaking during the unveiling of the logo and Mascot for the 21st National Sports Festival in Asaba, said the forthcoming sports meet would be the biggest in the history of the country in terms of numbers.
The Minister said; “About 40 sports disciplines will be competed for which is very huge and a record number while the expectation of having over 16,000 athletes is another anticipated record.
“We have the capacity to host well because that was what we achieved last year in Benin. We are already looking at bringing in about 10 African countries to boost the glamour of the games. It is our own mini-Olympics.”
Also speaking during the unveiling ceremony, the Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, showered encomiums on the Minister of sports Dare for his commitment to sports development in Nigeria. Governor Okowa congratulated Dare for the giant strides made in sports so far for the country.
His words: “I must truly thank the Minister for the way he is taking sports development in this nation. He has brought a high level of commitment to sports development in Nigeria yet he remains so humble in his approach.
“I believe that is the reason why some of us are very much encouraged to work with him to see what best can be done for Nigeria. We notice the work he is doing and are proud of him in this respect.”
Governor Okowa also revealed that the Sports Minister is one of the major reasons Delta State never hesitates to support Nigerian athletes and sports generally anytime the Ministry comes calling.
The sports loving governor also salutes the efforts of the marketers of the NSF, Nilayo Sports Management Limited for getting sponsors to embrace the games even before the unveiling of the logo and mascot.