The Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has assured that athletes of Team Edo would be camped for the upcoming 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) when the state government was ready.
Shaibu gave the assurance yesterday while addressing some of the athletes who protested in front of the Edo Government House in Benin about late camping and payment of allowances.
“If we have not defaulted in paying you in any tournament you have participated, is it now that we are hosting that we will default?
“We have made up our mind on what to do, and you have to act in line with that. We want you to be of good discipline and that is key in the effort to win medals for us,’’ he said.
The deputy governor reminded the athletes of similar incidents in the past and the effects they had on their performance, saying they should be comfortable with past efforts by the state government.
“You remember that during the 19th NSF in Abuja, I spoke to you guys like this. I appealed to you all, assured you that your allowances will be paid, but your delay in listening to me caused us three gold medals.
“The era of your allowances being paid to coaches is gone. We are going to use the same template as it was during the last festival, where money was paid directly into athletes’ accounts.’’
On the issue of closed camping for the athletes, the deputy governor assured that the actual period of camping of athletes would be strictly adhered to.
“You will go into camp at our own time, and we will communicate this to you, as well as what you will get when you win a medal. We will tell you what you are getting for winning and for participating,’’ he said.
Shaibu, however, warned that athletes should not allow themselves to be used by those he described as dishonest people.
“They want your allowances to be paid to them and not directly to you,’’ he said.
The spokesperson for the protesting athletes, Friday Aigbagben, assured the deputy governor that they were not sponsored to protest.
“We are only interested in knowing the number of days we will spend in camp, and what are our allowances during the camping period and during the festival.
“Also, we want to know what our reward is at the end of the event. Those are the things that brought us here,’’ he said.
Organisers Explain 2021 NSF Postponement
The 21st edition of National Sports Festival earlier scheduled for November 2 to 15, 2022, in Asaba, Delta State, will now hold from November 28 to December 10, 2022.
According to a statement by the Festival Secretary, Peter Nelson, and addressed to all Commissioners of Sports and Directors of Sports, the postponement was at the request of the host, Delta State.
“I wish to convey the request of Delta State Government to shift the date of the 21st National Sports Festival earlier scheduled to hold from November 2 to 15, 2022.
“It is now shifted to start on November 28 to December 10, 2022.
“The reason for the postponement is to give Delta State more time to complete some of the facilities needed for the festival,” the statement reads.
It will be recalled that the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival held in Benin City, Edo State, which was tagged: “Edo 2020,” also suffered several postponements until it finally held from April 2 to 14.
Nigeria Must Embrace Grassroots Sports Dev – Amusan
Women’S 100 metres hurdles world record holder, Tobi Amusan, believes that grassroots development programmes and top-notch training will help the country discover more athletics world champions.
Speaking in Lagos at a dinner organised in her honour by The Plug, an entertainment firm, tagged ‘Tobi Amusan’s Homecoming,’ she blamed the exodus of the Nigeria’s top athletes to other countries to what such nations offer the athletes.
“Grassroots sports development is something we lack here and the reason we often lose our top athletes to other countries of the world.
“From my experience training in the United States, if we can have such development here, we can groom young talents and unearth more Tobi Amusans,” she said.
On the recent ratification of her record by World Athletics, Amusan said: “That my world record was ratified by the world body means that I am drug free and that I am clean. I feel great about it. Every time I am on the track, my eyes are always set on how to win and I execute it by winning.”
She also spoke on the recent reception by the Federal Government, saying, “It is great feeling that we were recognised by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In as much as we did the work, it was an honour that they took into account and they recognised the fact that we did the nation proud. It is such a great feeling getting the national honour.”
She acknowledged the support she got after her world record feat, with her followers on Twitter rising from 3000 to 150,000 under 24 hours, saying it showed that people appreciate what she is doing.
On the criticism by men’s 400 metres world record holder, Michael Johnson, after her record breaking race in Oregon, U.S, Amusan said she was not bothered. “Honestly, I kept doing my thing because after the World Championships, I had other competitions to attend. I don’t dwell on negativity… I look on the bright side of the sport.”
At the event, Flutterwave, which used the occasion to declare it has signed a multi-year partnership deal with Amusan, said: “It is very difficult to find athletes who embody our core values the way Tobi does.”
YSFON : Academy Coach Begs For Assistance
The Head coach of the De Kings International Football Academy (DKIFA) of Port Harcourt Okpaleke Chika King is begging the Rivers State ministry of Sports, private and corporate individuals and all lovers of football for financial support to assist his team represent the state in Youth Sports Federation Of Nigeria (YSFON) competition.
He said that his team was representing Rivers state at the ongoing Chief of Naval Staff National (YSFON) Competition in Ilorin, Kwara State. He said he had written a letter to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals for assistance.
King made the assertion on Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt before leaving for Kwara state.
According to him he had nothing to do than to borrow money for the journey believing that when the State’s Commissioner for Sports sees the letter he would not fail to respond to it.
“ As you can see, my boys are ready for the competition but we lack support.
“ I have written to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals to assist us but I have not gotten any reply, yet.
By: Kiadum Edookor
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