February date for National Sports Festival remains sacrosanct, says Minister - newsheadline247.com
Abdulrasheed Adelakun News SPORTS

February date for National Sports Festival remains sacrosanct, says Minister

By Abdulrasheed Adelakun

“After the National Sports Festival in February this year, we will move to the National Youth Games…”

The Minister of youth and sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has reassured that the February 14th 2021 kick-off date for the National Sports Festival remains sacrosanct.

Dare also informed that the National Youth Games will come up after the National Sports Festival which is slated to hold in Edo State.

This is made known in a statement signed by the media assistant to the Minister, John Joshua Akanji, and made available to newsheadline247.

In the statement, the minister said, “After the National Sports Festival in February this year, we will move to the National Youth Games and continue the build-up to the Olympic Games.”

The EDO 2020 National Sports Festival expected to take place last year was suspended following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently shifted to February this year.

He added that building quality facilities and engaging good coaches, which are keys to producing World- lass athletes, require heavy investment.

“We have asked for 25 per cent of the Lottery Fund to come to sports. Jamaica and England give between 31 to 38 Percent of their Lottery Funds to sports, but right now we are getting nothing from the fund.

“We hope to get the approval for the Lottery Fund money in the first quarter of the year,” he said.

On the adopt-an-athlete initiative, which was introduced to cater for athletes’ welfare, Dare said it has been successful so far, assuring that this year,  it would accommodate more athletes.

“The initiative provides $10, 000 training Funds for home-based athletes, while the foreign-based get $20, 000. The money’s goes directly to the athletes, who are expected to use it for their training, medicals and travels for competitions.

“The benefiting athletes sign MOUs with the adopting companies or individuals so that all the parties are protected.

“The initiative was stalled by the COVID-19 outbreak last year, but more companies have lined up to be part of it. We are looking at an initial 48 athletes benefiting,” he said.

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