The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has said that the six years gap created by the inability to host the National Sports Festival (NSF), threw up a succession gap in the athletes representing the country at Continental and International Games.
The Minister made the assertion in Benin on Wednesday during the Extra-Ordinary meeting of the National Council on Sports.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Olusade Adesola, the minister said efforts had been made to ensure there was no repeat of that again.
The minister said that with the state’s pedigree in hosting multi-sports events, including the NSF, he was optimistic that Edo would host a successful NSF in 2020.
“Although the festival rules provides for the award of hosting rights four years before the Games to give the host state ample time to effectively plan and prepare for the event, Edo got the rights for the 20th edition with less than 2 years to the fiesta.
“In spite of this, we are confident that the state will perform creditably considering their pedigree in hosting multi-sports events, including the National Sports Festival.
“Having resuscitated the NSF, it is our desire that we will not have cause to experience the kind of break we had between 2012 and 2018 with grievous consequences for national sports development.
“One of the immediate challenges thrown up by the postponement was the apparent succession gap in the athletes representing the country at continental and international Games,” he said.
The minister told the stakeholders that it was their collective responsibility to ensure that the sector contributed its quota to national development.
NAN reports that the extra ordinary meeting was expected to consider a date for the 20th edition of the NSF as well as review the 19th edition. (NAN)
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