The Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon said the National Youth Games has contributed immensely to sports development in Nigeria, as the games have now become a formidable nursery for the discovery of talented young boys and girls in Nigeria.
Dalung stated this at the opening ceremony of the 4th National Youth Games at the University of Ilorin, Kwara state.
He said the target of this year’s edition of the games is to produce formidable athletes that would represent the country at various international games in the near future as the nation’s present crop of elite athletes are ageing.
“The games also provided a level playing ground for young athletes aged 15 years and below to achieve their potentials in sports”.
“I would like to refresh your memory about the success story of the maiden edition of the National Youth Games held in Abuja in 2013 where many talented athletes were discovered and groomed to represent Nigeria at the 2014 African Youth Games in Botswana and at the 2015 Commonwealth Games in Samoa respectively where laurels were won for the country”.
Dalung said, “In 3rd edition of the National Youth Games, many talented athletes were discovered and a good number of them represented Nigeria at the African Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria. Ever since its inception, the Youth Games has produced potential athletes who have represented Nigeria at various international competitions”.
“It is pertinent to state that one of the major policy trusts and target of this current administration is the empowerment of our teaming youth in order for them to maximise their potentials through various means among which sports take a cardinal position. This create employment and career opportunities, provide strong and binding force for national unity, cohesion and youth mobilisation”.
The Vice chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Sulyman Abdulkareem urged participants not to do anything that will jeopardize the ideal for which the completion was instituted.
“There should be no ill-feelings at any point in the competition. We should all imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and keep in mind that this event is an opportunity to give the youth the chance to showcase their potential”.
Delta won the 3rd edition of the National youth Games with 21 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze.