By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Edo state is renowned for her rich culture and sports pedigree which had resulted in the discovery of superstars in sports, arts, culture, and music.
The host state lived up to her reputation during the opening ceremony of the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival with a blend of cultural performances at the opening ceremony on Tuesday 6th April 2021. The rich cultural heritage of Edo and all the states of the Federation came alive with dances, music, and cultural displays which symbolize unity in diversity.
The rich culture and sports record were captured by the Minister who represented the President with a message that sports can unify and be used as a capsule for Youth empowerment, creating jobs and arresting drifting from the tenets of grassroots sports development.
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki echoed the fact that sports had come back to its roots with the assertion: Sport is back home.
According to Minister Chief Sunday Dare, in pursuit of unity and development of Nigerian youth, the National sports festival #NSF2020 offers a unique opportunity to explore Sports development beyond more than a game.
In the words of the Minister: “Nigerians will have the opportunity to see some of our best young talents compete in 32 sports events amongst 36 states plus the FCT.”
“You have seen the performance this evening and for the next twelve days, we will see our young talents compete. We hope that from this competition and Festival, we can find some stars that will eventually represent this country.”
“I just want to say that Sports is an uniter, Sports promotes peace and employs millions of our youth.”
While affirming President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sports development, the Minister reiterated: “As the president promised, he will continue to support sports development so that our youth can be engaged productively and to have a career in sports.”
The Minister further said “This Festival signposts the future when athletes discovered here would be able to compete with the best in the world. I look forward to this Festival producing notable superstars as we have had in the past. It is also a unique opportunity to invest in our sports infrastructure to create the right mix.”
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