Ahead of the next National Sports festival (NSF) in 2020, Edo state government conclude plans to hold its mini sports festival in August.
Godwin Dudu-Orumen, Chairman Edo State Sports Commission, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Benin, the Edo capital, adding that, the mini-festival is determined to dethrone both Delta and Rivers who are currently the champions.
Dudu-Orumen disclosed that the state sports festival would be used to discover and groom talents that abound in all nooks and crannies of the state.
According to him, “we are looking to dominate sports once again at the sports festival, talents that will be discovered will be monitored closely while a platform will be created for them to reach their peak.
“We are hosting the NSF in 2020 to win; by winning, we mean winning fairly and squarely through the talents that will be groomed and not through hired athletes to compete in the festival on behalf of the state.
“We are also working towards reclaiming the lost glory of the state in sports. We are working in such a way that half of Super Eagles players or players of the U20 and other national teams will be from Edo State.
“We want to be able to see that the state contributes most athletes for the national contingents.
“This was the case in the golden era of the state in sports and this we are hoping to re-enact in a not distant time.”
The Sports Commission boss stressed that it was as a result of this that the state government placed high premium on spots development.
“If you go round the state now, a lot is being done to either upgrade or build sports facilities across the 18 Local Government Areas.
“While the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium is being upgraded to Olympic standard, the government is also building mini stadium in all the council areas.” he said
Dudu-Orumen, however, advised the state government to attract individuals and corporate sponsors of sports activities in the state through tax rebate.
NAN reports that team Delta won the December Abuja NSF in style with a total of 351 medals, Rivers came second with 194 medals while Edo clinched the third position with 141 medals (NAN)