South WestSports

Oyo bids to host coming National Sports Festival

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Festival
Akinwale Aboluwade
Oyo State has signified its intention to host the next edition of the National Sports Festival.
The Chairman of the State Sports Council, Mr Gbenga Adewusi, made the disclosure to leaders of the state chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria who paid a courtesy call on him at his office on Wednesday.
Adewusi said the political leaders and sports administrators in the Pacesetter State have communicated their desire to the Minister of Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, who is an indigene of the state.
The last time Oyo State hosted the National Sports Festival was in 1976.
Adewusi said, “The Sport loving Governor of Oyo State Engineer Seyi Makinde is interested on hosting the next edition of the National Sports Festival. And we have told the Minister for Sports that we want to host the next edition after the one in Edo State. We have begun preparations for this, with the ongoing upgrade of the Lekan Salami Stadium. In addition, we’re also upgrading some mini stadia in six geo-political zones as well as sports arenas in the state capital.”
Speaking further to the cream of sports journalists in his office at the Lekan Salami Stadium, the graduate of Physical and Health Education, fondly called Arole, also revealed the efforts of sports administrators in the state at ensuring that the athletes from Oyo excel at the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Edo State.
He said, “We are leaving no stone unturned at ensuring that our contingent perform excellently in Edo State. Aside giving the athletes sound preparations, we have also proposed on-the-spot reward  to each athlete who wins medal, to the state governor for approval.
“In addition to state government’s reward, I am also promising to give each of the state gold medalists 5per cent of my monthly salary.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of SWAN in the state, Mr Niyi Alebiosu, who led the delegation of sports journalists on the visit to Adewusi, said the gesture was to appreciate the good works that he has been doing since his appointment in 2020.
Alebiosu used the occasion to call on the Oyo State Sports Council boss to look into the possibility of bringing back female football teams for the state, saying that “It will not only help the talents in the state but will also give employment to various officials in the state.
“Oyo State was known to having good female football teams in the past, Nito Queens and Tewo Babes, but these had gone moribund. So, I want to appeal to you Sir to please resuscitate female football in the state.”
Mr Alebiosu then assured Adewusi of the continued support of sports writers in the state.
Among those who played host to the visiting sports writers, was the General Manager of the Oyo State Sports Council, Mr Gboyega Makinde, who took the team on an inspection tour of the Lekan Salami Stadium to assess the ongoing remodeling works at the facility.
Meanwhile, sports lovers in the state have expessed satisfaction on the remodelling of the stadium stressing the need for adequate maintenance of public infrastructures for the common good of the people of the state.
A cross-section of residents of the state expressed the opinion that beyond the upgrade of the sports facilitaty, the Governor Makinde-led administration, and other successive administrations in the state must make the maintenance of public utilities a first charge priority.
Adeloye Adediti, one of those who raised concern on the need for government to rejig efforts towards adequate maintenance of public infrastructures, noted that “The state of social amenities in the state in particular, and the country in general, is nothing to write home about.
“The era of impunity must end and culture of waste must stop. Look around you today and you will see our schools, health facilities, roads, sports centres, markets, cinema and sports centres being largely degraded; this is sad.”

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