Delta State on Tuesday emerged champion of the National Youth Games (NYG) for the six consecutive times, winning the 6th edition with a total of 114 medals comprising 60 gold, 26 silver and 28 bronze medals.
Lagos State finished as the runner up with 72 medals of 19 gold, 25 silver and 28 bronze while Edo State was third with 40 medals of 18 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals.
Zamfara, Gombe and Enugu States were the bottom three teams with no single medal respectively.
At an elaborate closing ceremony to end the week-long event, the minister of youth and sports development, Mr. Sunday Dare, announced a cash prize of N200,000 for sensational special athlete, Akinwonwon Oladeji, who won gold medal in 100m, 200m and 400ms events respectively.
The minister while declaring the games closed described the performance of the athletes at the weeklong event as the sign of better things to come in Nigeria sports sector, asserting that the future is bright.
He commended the states for sustaining their investment in sports development, saying every effort put into grassroots sports development is a worthy investment and not a waste.
“Everything that has a beginning must have an end. It has been an awesome time of competition, bonding, making friends, building intimacy and developing healthy rivalries. Bringing the best young talents in Nigeria together and giving them the platform to do what they love the most.”
“Medals may have been won and lost but the reality is that every young talent represented here is a winner, whether you have a medal around your neck or not.”
“As a Ministry, what we have seen here in the last few days have reinforced our belief that every effort put into grassroots sports development is a worthy investment and not a waste. Since its first edition was held in 2013, the National Youth Games has grown in leaps and bounds. This year 35 States participated in 34 sports,” Dare said.
The Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Age Abdulkareem, represented by the deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Professor Mikhail Buhari, thanked the federal government for the opportunity to host the rest of Nigerian youths, saying they are willing to continue hosting the games as it has helped in improving the sporting facilities in the institution.
Professor Abdulkareem however appealed to the Sports Minister to fulfil its promise of building an Olympic sized swimming pool in the institution among other facilities, saying the institution had become the home of sports among its peers.
Aside the special lad Akinwowon Oladeji, a deaf boy from Lagos, who won the 100m, 200m and 400m gold medals, other amazing athletes that showcase themselves at the Games are: 9-year-old Gift Torhile from FCT, 10-year-old Wilson Bright from Delta, 13-year-old Obiefuna Munachi from FCT, 13-year-old Mustapha Oriyomi from Delta and weightlifting sensation, Florence Olarinoye from Lagos as well as Victory Okundia from Edo and Marvelous Chidirim from FCT.