Rivers State Government says the first Rivers State Sports Development Initiative (RSSDI) competition is to produce new generation of talents to take over from the aged ones.
The Commissioner for Sports in the state, Hon Boma Iyaye said this at the closing ceremony at the just concluded First RSSDI under 17 at the Alfred Diette Spiff Sports Complex, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt over the weekend.
Hon Iyaye who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, James Enebele said that the event is to discover young talents in the state who will eventually take over from the aged ones.
He explained that the first quarter of the event was to test run the facilities in the sports complex that was under construction before handing over to the state government, saying that the ministry carefully selected seven sports namely: Boxing, Badminton, Tennis, Handball, Volleyball, Basketball and Swiming to enable them assess the quality of work done.
According to him, 11 local government areas, three schools and 11 clubs participated in the first quarter of the competition, adding that the second quarter will involve other sports, saying that talents discovered in the event will be useful to the Ministry of Sports because they will represent the state for national and international tournaments.
He said 436 athletes participated in the seven events saying that they will be of benefit to the state and the nation.
The permanent secretary commended the athletes for their impressive performance during the five days programme, adding that the ministry will monitor talents discovered from the tournament to prepare them ahead of time for the national youth games slated for Ilorin in September this year.
Also speaking, the Director of Sports in the state, Evangelist Ezekiel Odum thanked the state government led by Chief Nyesom Wike and also the Commissioner for Sports for their support during the competition.