The 21st National Sports Festival tagged Delta 2022 is scheduled to take place in November 2022 following the resolution of the Technical Committee of the National Council on Sports.
The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare disclosed this on Monday in Asaba, the Delta State Capital during the extra-ordinary National Council on Sports Meeting and Inauguration of LOC for the hosting of the National Sports Festival.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will continue to collaborate with the Delta State Government with the view to ensuring the successful hosting of the games.
The Minister who commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration for the progressive and giant stride ideas deliberately put in place to drive sports development and the entire ecosystem in the country, noted that sports development under the purview of the present government has attained a new and impressive height which has invariably secured a seat at the table when it comes to allocation of resources as an area of business.
Dare stated further that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) in collaboration with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), have established a Department in the Ministry that is solely responsible for National Sports Festival and Para-Sports.
With this development he said, ‘’Para-Sports has been given the desired and long awaited attention.”
While citing Sierra Leone as an example, worthy of study, Dare said, ‘’we can learn something from Sierra Leone’s sports system by making all sports federations autonomous and incorporated.”
He called on the national sports federations of the need to have annual registration from the National Sports Commission which will certify and introduce them to the Nigerian Olympic Committee as the recognized federations.
Dare commended the Executive Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and the sports loving people of the state for hosting the extra-ordinary Council on Sports Meeting and granting all necessary logistics at the shortest notice.
He urged other State Governors and philanthropies to emulate Dr. Okowa who single handedly adopted the highest number, 12 athletes, in the Ministry’s Adopt An Athlete initiative ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a result of his interest in sports development in the country.
While declaring the Council opened, the Executive Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, described sports as a tool for youth development and national unity, as well as socioeconomic development of the country.
According to Okowa, ‘’sporting success does not happen by chance, it comes through years of planning, sacrifice, dedication and commitment to excellence,” adding that there is still a lot to be done to improve on our sports development as a nation.
He said that countries that have continually excelled on the global stage put in enormous resources to discover talents and therefore treat them as national assets.
He challenged the stakeholders in the industry on the need to develop a holistic approach to sports development and management in the country.
The Governor also urged the Council to develop policies and action plans to maximize the contribution of sports to national development, adding that sports has the path of building the youth with the values of discipline, team work, fair play, and essential qualities to succeed in life.
Okowa said that necessary measures should be put in place to the development of the sports industry that can chart a way forward by lifting Nigeria’s teeming youth from poverty to prosperity and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar enjoined the organizers and the Host State to draw their timeline of activities for effective and efficient delivery of the upcoming National Sports Festival in order to enhance the desired success.
The Council received and adopted two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of Department for National Sports Festival and Para-Sports in the Ministry and November 2022 as official date for the hosting of the 21st National Sports Festival.