Posted by GRANDNEWS | 11 February 2020 | 40 times
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has hailed the outgoing Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, for his administration's huge investments in sports development.
The minister gave the commendation during the finals of the third edition of the Governor Seriake Dickson football tournament and the official commissioning of some facilities at the remodeled Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa.
Dare described Bayelsa as a theatre of sporting activities, particularly in the area of wrestling.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Affairs and the Tournament's Director, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the minister as saying that the sporting facilities built by the Dickson government such as the tartan tracks, artificial football turf, floodlight, scoreboard and others were of international standard.
He expressed delight at the large number of teams that participated in the governor's football tournament, which is also known as the Restoration Cup, and gave him thumbs up for encouraging grassroots sports development in the state.
To this end, Dare directed the organisers of the tournament to forward a list of the outstanding players to enable his ministry nurture and place them in various national teams.
His words: "I am impressed with the investments my friend and the governor has made in encouraging sports and youth development.
"As soon as I came in, we drove straight to the theatre of wrestling. I saw the good works done there. Bayelsa is the wrestling theatre of Africa. It has made Nigeria stand tall in the medals category in various international competitions.
"I must publicly thank you for promising to match the 60,000 dollars benchmark given by the international wrestling body to complete that place, which is the wrestling camp for this country.
"As you exit power, I urge you never to look back when it comes to supporting sports and youth development because any investment in that sector will endure for a long time."
In his remarks, Governor Dickson said in the last eight years, his administration had made significant investments in youth development through sports and other programmes toward channeling their energies to positive ventures.
The governor, who acknowledged the contribution of past administrations to the development of sports in the state, noted that his restoration government upgraded facilities at the complex in line with current trends in the sports industry.
He also assured that he would continue to lend support to both the Dickson national wrestling championship and the football competition even after leaving office just as he urged the private sector to key into the vision.
Dickson congratulated the minister on his appointment and appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for the gesture. He described Dare as a square peg in a square hole, who would take sports to an enviable height in the country.
"I congratulate you on your well-deserved appointment as Minister of Sports. You are a fit and proper person saddled with the responsibility of developing our young people by formulating and implementing policies in that regard. Let me also use this opportunity to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for spotting you for this national assignment.
"We have made a number of appropriate investments in the area of sports and youth development. For instance, apart from what you are seeing in this stadium, we also have the Sports Academy in Asoama, where we have over 200 boys and girls undertaking academic and sports training.
"Let me assure that my wrestling and football tournaments will continue even after I have left office. I therefore call on the sports ministry, individuals and corporate organisations to give their support in terms of funding."
In separate remarks, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Daniel Igali, and the Director General of the Restoration Cup, Mr. Onoriode Akpe, said the efforts of Governor Dickson would continue to yield dividends in the sports sector.
Igali noted that Bayelsa is ranked among the top five states in sports in the country, and that with the new facilities, its athletes will aim higher and compete favourably against their counterparts across the country in both national and regional competitions.
He said Bayelsa has an enviable record of producing no fewer than 67 individual wresting champions in different categories.
Akpe, on his part, said the football tournament has continued to witness increased participation since its first edition about five years ago, adding that a total of 161 teams featured in the 2019/2020 edition.
...Okolobiri wins Gov. Dickson football tournament
Okolobiri community has emerged winners of the 2019/2020 edition of the Governor Seriake Dickson football tournament, which is also known as the Restoration Cup, taking home a giant trophy and a cash prize of N2.5 million.
They defeated Ekeremor community 4-2 on penalties after a pulsating 1-1 draw at full time.
Second-placed Ekeremor carted home N1.5 million as prize money as well as a trophy.
Third-placed Peretorugbene community got N1million and a trophy after defeating Nembe City 5-0 earlier in the third place game.
The highpoint of the grand finale was a 100m race by the governor, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Daniel Igali, ex-Olympian and queen of the tracks, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, and former Super Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia.
Other prominent individuals in attendance were a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Francis Agbo, CAF medical committee member, Dr. Peter Singabele, former Nigerian internationals Jossy Dombraye, Tarila Okorowanta, Binebi Numa among others.
No fewer than 161 teams participated in the third edition of the Restoration Cup.
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