Ikpoba Okha wins Edo Sports festival, as Edo govt reiterates focus on grassroots sports
The Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu has said the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration has resolved to make the Edo Sports Festival an annual event to serve as ground for discovering new sporting talents.
He said this at the closing ceremony for the 3rd edition of the Edo Sports Festival held at the University of Benin Sports complex, in Benin City, Edo State capital.
The 3rd edition of the Edo State Sports Festival ended with Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area (LGA) coming top on the medals table with 100 gold, 82 silver and 58 bronze medals; Owan West LGA came second with 74 gold, 53 silver and 66 bronze; while Egor LGA ranked third with 64 gold, 60 silver and 54 bronze.
Shaibu commended the participating Local Government Councils and their athletes, adding that Edo State is set to become the sporting hub of the country, as the state government has refurbished and rebuilt most of the sporting facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
He noted, “We will continue to develop our sporting facilities in the state beyond the National Sports Festival as we are building 20 new mini stadia across the 18 LGAs of the state.
“Four of these stadia will serve the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium as training ground for National, CAF and FIFA games. We are also going to build three mini mega stadia. One would be located in Edo South (Etete), another at Edo Central (Ekpoma) while the third will be at Etsako West LGA.”
Shaibu added, “Since Edo and Delta States went to recess in sports especially football, Nigeria now use calculators to determine what matches would be to enable us win trophies. We say no to this as we are back and now Nigeria will win its matches as well.”
The deputy governor expressed the readiness of the state to commence closed door camping for athletes who will represent Edo State at the National Sports Festival, noting, “This festival was organised to select Edo State athletes for the National Sports Festival to be hosted here in our state. The game has sprung surprises, producing new talents that were not known before. This is the beginning of the return of sports to Edo State the land of sports.”
The Chairman of Edo State Sports Commission, Dudu Orume, thanked the governor and his deputy for a well-organised sports festival in the state, adding that the state looks forward to a great outing at the 2020 NSF.