The National Council on Sports has approved November 2 to 15, 2022 as the dates for the 21st National Sports Festival tagged ‘Asaba 2022 ‘ slated for Delta State following the resolution of the technical committee of the National Council on Sports.
The minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare, announced this during the extra-ordinary National Council on Sports meeting and inauguration of the local organizing committee for the hosting of the Festival on Monday in Asaba, Delta State Capital.
He said the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will continue to collaborate with the Delta State government to ensure successful hosting of the games.
Dare revealed that the Sports Ministry in collaboration with the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), have established a department in the Ministry that is solely responsible for National Sports Festival and Para-Sports.
‘’Para-Sports has been given the desired and long awaited attention,” Dare stated.
The minister who cited Sierra Leone as an example, worthy of study, said, ‘’we can learn something from Sierra Leone’s sports system by making all sports federations autonomous and incorporated.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for the progressive and giant stride ideas deliberately put in place to drive sports development and the entire ecosystem in the country, stating that sports development under the purview of the present government has attained a new and impressive height which has invariably secured a seat at the table when it comes to allocation of resources as an area of business.
He also commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the sports loving people of Delta State for hosting the extra-ordinary Council on Sports Meeting and granting all necessary logistics at the shortest notice.
He urged other state governors and philanthropies to emulate Dr. Okowa who single handedly adopted the highest number, 12 athletes, in the Ministry’s Adopt An Athlete initiative ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a result of his interest in sports development in the country.
While declaring the Council opened, Governor Okowa, described sports as a tool for youth development and national unity, as well as socioeconomic development of the country.
‘’Sporting success does not happen by chance, it comes through years of planning, sacrifice, dedication and commitment to excellence,” Okowa said, adding that there is still a lot to be done to improve on our sports development as a nation.”
He challenged the stakeholders in the industry on the need to develop a holistic approach to sports development and management in the country.