By Tony Ubani
Host city for the 2014 19th National Sports Festival tagged Paradise 2014, Cross Rivers State has promised a festival that would live up to its Paradise nickname but still scratches its head because of monumental fiestas crammed into its calendar in 2014.
The State received the flag for the next Festival from Eko 2012 yesterday and re-assured states that would emulate Lagos develiver the Festival without suffering a postponement.
Youth and Sports Commissioner, Hon. Patrick Ugbe who received the flag for the next edition said that the passion of Governor Liyel Imoke for sports would not allow him not to deliver on time.
”We’ve a Governor who is passionate on sports. If he sets his sights on something, he achieves it.
There will be no delay or postponement”, Ugbe, a reputable Journalist and a Lagos boy who has turned around the fortunes of Cross River State in sports said.
Besides the festival, Cross River State would be hosting the World Mountain Race that will bring many countries to Nigeria. ”Our hands are full but we are equal to the task”, Ugbe still brimming with excitement said.
Reviewing the performance of the Cross River State contingent to the just ended Eko 2012, Ugbe said that they performed creditably well and surpassed their last outing in Garden City Games in Port Harcourt.
”We came with the youngest team to the festival with their ages ranging from 14 to 16 years. The young lads won medals, even gold in Pole Volt. By 2014, they would have been worked on and will definitely do better.
We didnt come to Lagos with the illusion of winning the festival. No. We believe in discovering them young and we are happy that the festival will be open when we host. What it means is that only the best can win medals. It is a challenge our youths will look up to.
On our side, we will give them the best in terms of training and exposure and getting expatriate coaches for them. As for hosting, we are known for only the best”, Ugbe said.