The 6th Anambra Sports Festival was concluded on Saturday with awards to individuals who have contributed to the growth of sports in the state.
Gov. Peter Obi, while presenting the awards to the recipients, thanked them and urged them not to relent in their efforts to lift sports by restoring its glory in the state.
NAN reports that 30 awards were given in three categories with 17 of the recipients living sports heroes, including Emmanuel Okala, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi and Kenneth Abana.
Posthumous awards went to eight persons, including Kenneth Okonkwo, Mike Okpala, otherwise known as known as Power Mike, and Aloy Atuegbu.
The Managing Director of Rogenny Games Village and Tourist Centre, Oba, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, Chief Poly Emenike and three others were honoured as pillars of sports.
The recipients were happy that their efforts were recognised and promised to continue to collaborate with the government to develop sports in the state.
Ezeonwuka thanked the government for the honour, and urged the private sector to join in developing sports in that state.
“It is a good thing and I am happy, I have been in sports for about 30 years and I will continue to do my best.
“I call on private individuals to help the government in its efforts to right the wrongs in our sports,” he said.
Anambra State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dr Edozie Aroh, described the festival as successful, adding that the state’s team would proceed to camp to intensify its preparations for Eko 2012.
“We shall be going straight to camp with these new athletes many of whom were discovered in the course of the festival.
“So, we are going to keep them together in order to get them ready for the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos from November 27 to December 9.
“We have recognised the efforts of the award recipients and we are encouraging them to go back to the grassroots to discover more talents and bring their ideas and resources to lift sports,” he said.
In the final of the football competition, Aguata Local Government defeated Nnewi South 4-2 to become champions of the male football, while Anocha defeated Onitsha South 5-4 to win the female category in matches decided on penalties.