Segun Ayinde, Abeokuta
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, on Monday, inaugurated a 16-man Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 22nd National Sports Festival to be hosted by the state in 2024.
Abiodun, while speaking during the inauguration of the LOC at the Governor’s Office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, noted that the state is more than prepared to surpass previous editions and the achievements recorded during the last festival held by the state in 2006.
He stated that his government is ready to continue to put in place world-class sporting infrastructure across the length and breadth of the state.
The governor, who also disclosed that the festival isn’t about the competition or the performances, noted that the state under his watch is ready to showcase the talent, culture, potential and unique sense of hospitality of the people of the state.
He said, “We are determined to put in place world-class sporting infrastructures across the length and breadth of the state, thus underscoring our determination to ensure that we host a very befitting sports festival to the admiration of all stakeholders in the sector and around the world
“For us in Ogun State, this festival isn’t just about the competition and performances, even though we would love to host and win every medal.
“We want to host a National Sports Festival that will showcase the talent, our culture and potential of our great state as well as a very unique sense of hospitality of our people.”
Abiodun stressed that the National Sports Festival brings together the energy, and creativity of youths in the country and also serves as a platform for them to showcase their diverse talents and potential, adding that hosting the festival is a testament to the commitment of his administration to empower the next generation by offering them the opportunity for growth and self-development.
He charged members of the committee to embrace the responsibility given to them with a deep sense of purpose, noting that their attention to detail, effective planning and seamless execution would be the magic wand they would need to host a remarkable edition of the festival.
Earlier, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee and former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in the State, Bukola Olopade, commended Governor Abiodun for bidding and winning the right to host a successful National Sports Festival.
He acknowledged the governor for being the first governor in the country to ensure that all its athletes at the last National Sports Festival in Delta State went home with cash rewards, irrespective of winning or losing.
Olopade said, “You have achieved two seconds to none already when our athletes came back from Delta State and you announced the reward to the athletes. I know I speak authoritatively when I say that has not happened before in this country where every participating athlete got something to take home despite the fact that they didn’t come back home with medals. It has never happened before.
“The second thing you’ve achieved is to put together your Excellency the aficionados of sports today in Nigeria, the gentlemen and women that are assembled here before you today are literally the best brains and minds in sports today in Nigeria.”