By Usman Salifu, Abuja
Team Nasarawa athletes preparing for the 20th National Sports Festival, tagged ‘Edo 2020 Games’ slated for December 3 to 18, 2020 in Benin, the Edo State capital have intensified preparations in various open camps across the state.
A total of 187 athletes selected to represent Nasarawa State in 25 events at the Edo 2020 Games have expressed optimism that they will come out strong.
The state commissioner for Sports Development, Othman Bala Adam, made the disclosure while fielding questions from LEADERSHIP Friday sports, buttressed the point that the adopted open camp style is in line with COVID-19 protocol and exigency of time ahead of the national championship.
He said the athletes were in a closed camp before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. His words: “We started close camping because funds were released by the government and all that was required to be in camp were made available but we had to vacate the camp due to the pandemic.
“May I announce that despite the impact of the pandemic, stipends and salaries meant for athletes on payroll were not stopped. This act alone was a motivational incentive that can boost good outing for the state at the festival.
In addition to that, we have promised to ensure that the best of training equipment that can add value to their efforts are in place.
Adam applauded governor Abdullahi Sule’s sincere commitment to sports and youth development in Nasarawa State, harping that the state has never had it so good in terms of budgetary and releases for the sector.
He said: “When you talk about challenges, it is a global phenomenon and it can’t be anything other than a challenge of finance. But we have never had it so good in terms of budgeting and releases of funds as far as sports is concerned in Nasarawa State like this type around under the government of Engr Abdullahi A Sule.
“We came on board in November last year and this is the first time that we are be part and parcel of budgetary process and want to assure you that the performance of the Ministry in terms of whatever we desire to do in adding value not just to only sports but other yield impact positive change in Nasarawa State would come to bear in 2021 budget we are part and parcel the process.