Asaba – Delta State Commissioner for Information,Mr Charles Aniagwu has said that the state was not just hosting the ongoing 21st National Sports Festival to win but to break new grounds.
Aniagwu who is Chairman Media and Publicity Sub-Committee of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the games tagged “Delta 2022”, disclosed this on Friday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba Delta State.
He commended journalists and other stakeholders for their support in covering the sports fiesta.
He stated that the state had already won 5 gold medals in cycling, adding that winning had become an attitude for Team Delta.
He further said that the state didn’t embark on hosting the games just to win but to break new grounds and set new records.
According to him, a number of states were pushing forward to challenge Delta but remarked that the state was not just hosting to win, “we are also hosting to break new grounds”
“I can assure you that new talents would be discovered in this event because a number of states are pushing forward to see how they can challenge Delta because for a very long time, Delta has remained the king of this particular fiesta.
“But for us in Delta, we are not only hosting to win but to also break new grounds. And so we are quite comfortable with where we are now.
“As at this afternoon, we have gotten as much as five gold medals. Edo has gotten one. I am sure by the end of the day, Delta will continue to increase its medal haul,”
He said the Okowa administration had developed sports infrastructure across the state to sustain breeding of athletes.
“We have also been able to develop other sporting facilities which beyond being venues for different games in this event, it will also provide us breeding grounds for new talents to be discovered in Delta.
“Because after now, they will remain as training grounds for athletes. So for us, we have tried as much as possible to put a number of facilities even outside Asaba.
“One thing we also did is that we have expanded our ability to host, in terms of accommodation for the athletes. What that means is that even if we have another event now, we will be able to host events that could bring in more or larger number of persons.
“Don’t forget we hosted African Senior Athletics Championships in 2018, where lots of athletes were discovered.
“We are happy where we are. We thank those who have come and have behaved very friendly. Our people have behaved themselves. Of course, that’s what we have told them that the visitors who are coming are not only coming to compete but will also bring lots of resources into our state.
And that we should extend much love to them so that the much sort after unity can start from Delta so that by the time we begin to go to the election in 2023, the unity and love from this game will permeate the country,” he said.
On the impact of sports in poverty reduction, Aniagwu said Governor Okowa had invested a lot of funds into sports development in the state which had enabled a number of homes to benefit from it.
“Its not just because of the amount of funds we pay them but because it has become a way of life here in Delta and that explains why we have continued to improve on our facilities in the state not only in the capital territory but across the 25 local government areas.
“Sports engages the minds of the youths and when they are engaged they are able to stay out of crime in addition to the fact that they have been able to participate at the International level.
“If every other state embraces sports the way we do it in Delta it will help reduce the multi dimensional poverty that has actually become the bane of most states in our country,” Aniagwu said.