The policy statement by the Honourable Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi to open the National Sports Festival (NSF) has received the backing of Delta and Ekiti States.
According to the Chairman, Delta Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick, the decision is long overdue as this would bring glamour to the sports fiesta.
“I think this is what I have championing that the festival should be thrown open for top athletes to represent their state of origins. You can imagine athletes like Blessing Okagbare, Damola Osayomi and Ajoke Odumosu taking part in the festival, fans will surely be drawn to the stadium and this will also afford the young athletes to rub shoulders with the top athletes and such budding athletes will surely be integrated into the senior team,” Pinnick said.
Amaju also threw his weight behind the idea of staging an U-17 Youth Games, which he said would give young athletes opportunity to compete among themselves before progressing to the senior team.
For the Ekiti State Commissioner for Sports, Folorunsho Olabode, this decision was indeed a good omen for the country as it would encourage states to develop their athletes.