20th National Sports Festival to hold in March next year

20th National Sports Festival to hold in March next year

The Ministry of Youths and Sports have proposed March 20-April 6, 2020 for the 20th National Sports Festival in Benin, Edo State. The announcement was made at the extraordinary meeting of the National Council on Sports on Wednesday in Benin.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki said a local organising committee will be inaugurated to ensure a successful Festival next year.

“After the council meeting this weekend, our own Local Organising Committee will be inaugurated and they will plan for next year. We have suggestions we will inform the Federal Ministry and immediately after this meeting we should be ready to put that forward.”

Sports Minister Barr Solomon Dalung thanked the Edo State Government for accepting to host the 20th National Sports Festival.

“I want to thank Edo State Government for accepting the hosting rights. The infrastructure on ground here can effectively host these sports simultaneously and we can conclude on time. I am indeed satisfied with the level of facilities in Edo.”

Dalung added, “We also decided to choose Edo because we wanted a State that will not be involved in Governorship election in 2019 because any State that would have been involved in election will not be able to host this National Council of Sports. It is either they will be in an inconclusive election or rerun or if the governor is elected he would have been battling to put together his inauguration and which will make us revisit the hosting rights in October for a Festival scheduled for March 2020. That means we would have gone back to the problem we had with Cross River State.”

Meanwhile, twenty seven compulsory sports have been selected to feature at the 2020 National Sports Festival

The selection was done in line with practices obtainable in the organisation of major International Games, Commonwealth Games and Continental Games.

The compulsory sports were also selected based on popularity of the sports in the 36 States and FCT, State entries in the sport in previous Festivals and Standard of Nigeria’s participation in the sport at International level.

The compulsory sports include: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Chess, Cycling, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Karate, Kickboxing, Kung-Fu, Para-Athletics, Para-Powerlifting, Para-Table tennis, Scrabble, Squash, Swimming Table Tennis, Tennis, Taekwondo, Volleyball (Indoor), Weightlifting and Wrestling.

An addition of five sports from 24 optional sports could be selected to bring it to a maximum of 32 sports at the Festival.

The optional sports include: Amputee Football, Canoeing, Cricket, Darts, Deaf Sports, Fives, Golf, Para-Shooting, Para-Soccer, Para-Swimming, Para-Taekwondo, Rowing, Rugby, Sailing, Shooting, Sitting Volleyball, Traditional boxing (Dambe), Traditional Sport (Abuja), Traditional Sport (Ayo), Traditional Sport (Langa), Traditional Wrestling (Kokawa), Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Tennis and Yachting.


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