Edo ready for 2020 National Sports Festival


Sports Minister, Sunday Dare has cleared all doubts on the state of readiness of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin to host the 20th National Sports Festival billed to begin on March 20.

Speaking after an on the spot assessment of the Samuel Ogbemudia Sports Complex in Benin, Dare said, “I am impressed with what I have seen at the Samuel Ogbemudia Sports Complex, it shows clearly that consistent work has been going on here.

“There has been huge commitment on the part of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Mr. Philip Shaibu to ensure that this place is completed in a record time.“I have seen progress and I can say this stadium is about 85 per cent or 90 per cent ready for the National Sports Festival.”

Governor Obaseki also reassured that the stadium would be completely ready by the first week of March.Earlier, the minister had hailed the qualification of the women national basketball team, D’Tigers, for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Dare said the Nigerian spirit and resilience ensured the girls berthed at sports biggest fiesta, adding, “We have no doubt that they will go with the same spirit and zeal to the games. We shall support all our athletes to attain their true potentials at the Games.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s preparations to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics got yet another boost yesterday with the news that Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu has adopted Nigerian athlete, Nwokocha Nzubechi with the payment of $10,000.

The sports minister recently introduced the adopt-a-talent initiative to support Nigerian athletes for international glory.As testament to his love for Nigerian sports, the Edo State deputy governor paid the amount directly to the adopted athlete’s account.

The athlete, Nzubechi confirmed the payment to former Olympic medallist and Special Adviser on Sports to the Minister, Mary Onyali. Shaibu, a footballer, who inspired Bendel Insurance of Benin to secure promotion to the elite league last season, is still a registered player in the second tier league.Nzubechi, who was born on April 7, 2001, hails from Abia State and is a student of the University of Port Harcourt. She competed in 100m in 2019 and will be part of Team Nigeria’s squad to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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