The 7th edition of the National Youth Games in Asaba Delta State, tagged Asaba 2023 has been declared open with a resplendent opening ceremony at the Stephen Keshi Stadium.
Declaring the games open President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was represented by the Minister of Youths and Sports, Senator John Enoh, urged all participating athletes to compete fairly, shun all forms of anti-social behaviour and the use of performance-enhancing substances for victory.
The minister commended all the stakeholders and Delta State government in particular, for working assiduously to deliver a successful youth games that the nation can be proud of, calling on other States to emulate them.
According to him, the National Youth Games would be serving the purpose of which it was strategically designed by the ministry basically as an effective platform for talents identification as well as breeding ground for young athletes, ranging from age 15 and below to achieve excellence in sports.
He asserted that this year’s edition of the games is unique due to the introduction of the National Identification Number NIN to curtail the age cheat in the games, pointing out that the future of the nation’s sports is on the athletes.
The minister explained that the 7th National Youth Games would provide another opportunity to rewrite the country’s through sports, noting that the current administration is committed to pay undivided attention to the development of sports in Nigeria.
While appreciating the president and Delta State government for hosting the spectacle, Senator Enoh, charged the participating athletes to see the opportunity as a stepping stone to greater height, noting that the beauty of the games is participation.
In a remark Delta State governor Sheriff Oborevwori, said sports has become a culture in Delta and that the State would leave nothing to chance to maintain the sports culture describing the National Youth Games as a vehicle to discover talents in the country.
The state helmsman hailed the Ministry of Sports for sustaining the National Youth Games in the last seven years, stressing that apart from participation, the games has helped to promote national unity and advanced development across the country.
The governor who described Delta as a mecca of sports in Nigeria, assured the various States of hitch free National Youth Games, calling on the lads to make good use of the opportunity by abiding to the rules of the games.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonobok Okowa who doubles as chairman Local Organizing Committee, said the 7th National Youth Games would be the best since inception of the games, assuring all the contingents of the best of hospitality.
Meanwhile, team Bayelsa on Saturday won three gold in weightlifting on day one of the National Youth Games.
Stephen Godswill gave Bayelsa the gold in the 49kg Class with action returning Sunday in different centers.
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