Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Wednesday, put smiles on the faces of 230 athletes, 55 coaches in the just concluded 2020 National Sport Festival, which took place in Edo State, with a whooping sum of N66million.
The governor, who announced the donation, while receiving the state’s contingents of the just concluded National Sports Festival (NSF), EDO 2021, at the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, said his government has been committing a lot of resources towards sports development in the state, apart from the Adamasingba and Lekan Salami stadia that are currently undergoing serious upgrades.
While commending the athletes and their coaches for making the state proud, the governor added that his administration would continue to encourage sports development even at the grassroots level.
He said: “That is why, across the geopolitical zones of Oyo State, we are upgrading sports facilities in there. So, we should start seeing the results from that investment. I am sure that we will see instant results at the next National Sports Festival, which is scheduled to take place next year.”
“One assurance that I can give to you is that Oyo State will continue to encourage its own athletes to even do more. I have set a target of at least 100 gold medals for the next Sports Festival and everything that will aid in realising that vision, we will put in place.”
“If some states are trying to approach you, you don’t need to go because Oyo State will definitely provide the required atmosphere for you to excel. We have made provision for all your allowances. If they have not been paid, it is probably pending with the Accountant General. For us to show appreciation to our medalists and the coaches, we will not promise you something that we would not be able to do. I will make some pronouncements now and it has to be done within the next two weeks.”
“For each gold medal, we will pay N500,000. For each silver medal, we will give N350,000 and for each bronze medal, we will give N250,000. For the coaches, irrespective of the medal won, we will give each coach, N500,000.”
“To our only gold medalist, who competed in the shortcut and discourse because we want to encourage athletes in that category. So, we will give N1million extra to him. Also, we will give para-power lifting additional N1million.”
“I am glad with the result and I want to commend the athletes and coaches for making Oyo State proud and job well done. This government will continue to encourage sports development even at the grassroots level,” Makinde vowed.
The Final List National Sports Festivals 2020 (EDO 2020)
Earlier in his address, the state’s Commissioner for Youth and Sport, Mr. Seun Fakorede, expressed happiness that the state’s contingents distinguished themselves by coming 6th overall in 22 events with impressive haul of 103 medals from 31 Gold Medals, 30 Silver and 42 Bronze to the state’s name.
“I am also pleased to place on record that this feat is unprecedented as Oyo State went to the festival with one of the least contingents as against the 800 contingents presented by Lagos State who came fifth at the festival.”
“It is also germane to state that this inspiring and superlative performance put up by Oyo State Contingents at the time of this administration is unrivaled in the history of Oyo State’s attendance at the festival with the following past results to validate this assertion.”
“This huge success however was essentially driven by the patriotism and magnanimity spirit of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Governor Oluwaseyi Makinde (FNSE), which he displayed first in 2020 when he took upon himself to pay the cash reward to the 2018 National Sports Festival Medalists which was promised by the last administration and was not fulfilled. This however set the tune for this year 2020 beautiful performance that we are here to celebrate today,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of other medalists, Babalola Mumini, appealed to the state government to create employment opportunities for the athletes and officials, while he also urged the government for timely approval and prompt release of funds to facilitate effective preparation for festivals and any other championship.
“On behalf of Oyo State athletes, I will like to say thank you for your support. We also want you to know that we went there to give all our best. This year’s edition was a great performance for Oyo State athletes and I say kudos to all the athletes.”