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Oyo bids to host National Sports Festival

The Oyo State Sports Council has disclosed that the state has signified its intention to host the next edition of the National Sports Festival.

The Chairman of the state sports council, Gbenga Adewusi, made the disclosure to leaders of the state chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria who paid a courtesy call on him at his office this week.

Adewusi said the political leaders and sports administrators in the Pacesetter State have communicated their desire to the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, who is an indigene of the state.

The last time Oyo State hosted the National Sports Festival was in 1976.

Adewusi said, “The sports-loving Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, is interested in hosting the next edition of the National Sports Festival. And we have told the Minister for Sports that we want to host the next edition after the one in Edo State. We have begun preparations for this, with the ongoing upgrade of the Lekan Salami Stadium. In addition, we are also upgrading some mini stadia in six geo-political zones as well as sports arenas in the state capital.”

Speaking further, Adewusi said the state was working at ensuring that the athletes from Oyo excel at the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Edo State.

He said, “We are leaving no stone unturned at ensuring that our contingent performs excellently in Edo State. Aside from giving the athletes sound preparations, we have also proposed an on-the-spot reward to each athlete who wins a medal, to the state governor for approval.

“In addition to state government’s reward, I am also promising to give each of the state gold medalists 5per cent of my monthly salary.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of SWAN in the state, Niyi Alebiosu, who led the delegation of sports journalists on the visit to Adewusi, said the gesture was to appreciate the good works that he has been doing since his appointment in 2020.

Alebiosu used the occasion to call on the Oyo State Sports Council boss to look into the possibility of bringing back female football teams for the state, saying that “It will not only help the talents in the state but will also give employment to various officials in the state.”

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