The Oyo State Government has declared its interest in hosting the next edition of the National Sports Festival.
The Chairman of the State Sports Council, Honourable Gbenga Adewusi disclosed it to leaders of State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) who paid a courtesy call on him at his office on Wednesday.
Honourable Adewusi said the political leaders and sports administrators in the pacesetter state had conveyed their desire to the Minister for Sports Mr Sunday Dare, who happens to be an indigene of the state.
“The Sport 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. Also, we’re upgrading some mini stadia in six geo-political zones as well as sports arenas in the state capital”, Honourable Adewusi stated.
The last time Oyo State hosted the National Sports Festival was in 1976.
Speaking further to the presence of sports journalists in his office at the Lekan Salami Stadium, the graduate of Physical and Health Education, fondly called Arole, also disclosed the efforts of Oyo State sports administrators at guaranteeing that the state athletes excel at the upcoming National Sports Festival in Edo State.
“We’re 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 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 also promise to give each of the state gold medalists 5% of my monthly salary”, the Chairman of Oyo State Sports Council revealed.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman Oyo SWAN, Mr Niyi Alebiosu, led the council of sports journalists on the visit to Hon. Adewusi said the visit was to recognise the good works that Honourable Adewusi has been doing since his appointment in 2020.
Alebiosu seized the occasion to charge the Oyo State Sports Council boss to nurse 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 employments to various officials in the state. Oyo state was known to having good female football teams in the past, Nito Queens and Tewo Babes, but these had gone moribund. So I want to appeal to you Sir to please resuscitate female football in the state”.
Mr Alebiosu then guaranteed Honourable Adewusi of the continued support of sportswriters in the state.
The General Manager of the Oyo State Sports Council, Mr Gboyega Makinde, was among those who played host to the visiting sportswriters, he took the team on an inspection tour of the Lekan Salami Stadium to assess the remodelling works in progress currently.