Edo State Government has restated its pledge to ensure continuous progress of her athletes by supporting them to win laurels and bring more glory to the State.
The State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, gave the assurance Tuesday when he received Edo-born Commonwealth Bronze medalist, Faith Obazuaye at the Government House, Benin City.
Obazuaye won the bronze medal in para-table tennis at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom, last August.
Shaibu commended the athlete for her feat at the Commonwealth Games and for doing the State proud on the international scene.
He stated, “on behalf of the Governor, Government and the good people of Edo State, I want to welcome you to Government House this afternoon.l also congratulate you for making us proud at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham”.
“We are lucky and happy that we have a former gold medalist in Commonwealth Games and record holder in the long jump, Yusuf Ali as Chairman of Edo State Sports Commission. Currently, our name is becoming synonymous with the Commonwealth and we have just proved that by the medals we won. So, we want to congratulate you and say that we are happy and through you to the other athletes affirm that when you want to pursue a career, you have to train and be very serious about it which brings enormous rewards”.
“You have been recognized by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and you have been given a national honour – one recognition that a lot of people in their lifetime cannot even get near the podium – and receive the honour”.
“But most importantly, of all the Commonwealth Nations, you climbed that podium to receive a medal and our flag (Nigeria) was hoisted, a feat that everybody and indeed, the State is very proud of.”
“We have built facilities for training at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and you should take the advantage and train well. Other States and countries come here to use these facilities and if that’s the case, it shows that we have the best of equipment that can bring out the best in you”.
“We are proud of you and Tobiloba Amusan. She was also here to train. We shall continue to support you and I am sure others would want to be like you. As a former athlete myself, I know that we derive extra strength from our cherished red jersey. The red jersey gives us extra strength whenever we wear it, the indomitable Edo spirit comes over us. We shall go into the Sports Festival in Asaba and reclaim our position”.
“Whatever we can do as a Government to support you and others, be rest assured that we will do it. The Federal Government has done its own and Edo State Government will surely do its own by rewarding your effort”.
Earlier, Chairman of Edo Sports Commission, Olympian Yusuf Ali, while introducing Faith to the Deputy Governor, appreciated him and the Governor for their support for the states’ athletes.
Ali, however,prayed that Faith would go places and come back to show greater medals to the government.
According to him,”when we talk about sports development, this is not new and when we talk about Commonwealth Games, I am so glad she’s an indigene. She trains here, works here and here is the medal she won which shows the good work.What we have at the Ogbemudia Stadium, talking about the facilities, are not what can be overlooked by people”.
“This is one of the testimonies of the facilities we have in the State and we want to say thank you for putting up the facilities”.
“Now we are looking forward to the Olympic Games in France and hopefully, she will do well and come back to still present her medal”.
Present at the medal presentation were the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Sports Commission, Mrs.Sabina Chikere, the Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Governor, Chief Press Secretary,CPS, Office of the Deputy Governor, Comrade Ebomhiana and the Director, Office of Deputy Governor, Ms Faith Irabor.