Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has reiterated his commitment towards grassroot sports development saying sports is a unifying factor apart from being a medium of raising national stars.
Oyetola who stated this on Tuesday in Osogbo while receiving the “Torch of Unity” of the 21st edition of the National Sports Festival holding in Asaba, Delta state said he has approved the/required fund for Osun to participate at the event despite the dwindling resources, urging all athletes to put up good performances and win laurels for the state.
The Governor who was represented by his Special Adviser on Youth and Sports,, Aremo Gboyega Adelabu said the state government has concluded arrangement to provide all logistics required for the contingent to do well at this year’s National Sports Festival (NSF).
“Receiving the Torch of Unity is an indication of our endorsement of the Festival and a commitment to partake in it with all sense of responsibility and sportsmanship.
“We will strive to provide more enabling environment, modern equipment and adequate resources for the training of sportsmen and women in order to enhance their performances.”
Speaking on the significance of moving the Torch of Unity round the states of the federation, Oyetola said the gesture would go a long way to foster peace, unity, love and togetherness among Nigerians especially now that the country is facing serious security challenges.
“It must be put on record that the importance of moving the Torch of Unity round the States of the Federation is to preach unity, especially now that the nation is facing serious security challenges. The Torch of Unity signifies peace, unity and spirit of sportsmanship which will be demonstrated at the Festival.”
While reiterating his administration’s commitment to youth and sports development, Oyetola said his government would continue to pay more attention to sporting activities in schools in order to catch athletes young noting that “the grassroot sports development remains the basis for achieving effective sports development.”.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare who was represented by the Deputy Director, Sports Festival and Para Sports Department, Chief (Mrs) Amaka Ashiofu lauded Osun Government for the warm reception and urged the athletes to train hard so as to compete favourably well with their colleagues from other states.
Speaking on behalf of Osun athletes, the bronze medalist at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Islamiyat Yusuf promised that they were not going to Asaba to make up numbers but to win many medals and make the state proud.
Present at the brief programme were the General Manager, Osun State Sports Council, Mr Rotimi Dunmoye, Acting Permanent Secretary Osun State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mrs Taiwo Oladunjoye, Director of Sports of the Ministry, Mr Layi Adesiyan, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports Development, Vincent Akinbami, Director, Coaching and Training, Osun State Sports Council, Demola Daini among others.
Highpoint of the program was the lighting of the Torch of Unity by officials of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the procession en route the handing over of the Torchch to Governor Oyetola.