Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Federal Government has stressed the need for various state governments to articulate a well-funded structure and system that could develop sports to enviable standard and system in their respective state in particular and the country in general.
Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, who made the call yesterday, stressed that such structure and system will attract private and public sectors participation and support in developing sports at the state level.
Dalung spoke through the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Esther Tonye Aluko at the Godswill Akpabio International Sport Stadium in Uyo during the 2nd Akwa Ibom Sports Festival tagged â€˜Uyo 2018â€™.
He argued that the development of high performance in sports from grassroots to any level should now be the focus for states.
Dalung insisted that states that want to take sports to its ultimate in term of excellent and its capacity will provide opportunities for youths to show case their sporting talents and development.
Also, he added such sporting activities will engage the youth in meaningfully engagement and empowerment that will take off their mind from engaging in crime and restiveness.
He noted that the Akwa Ibom State government sponsored annual sports festival serves as the stateâ€™s â€˜Olympic Gameâ€™ and a grassroots sports development programme and critical in making the state to attain high performance and success in sports.
Akwa Ibom, the Minister maintained, was already on the part to sport excellence judging by the performance of the state athletics in the last couple of competitions especially at the 2017 edition of the National Youth Games held in Kwara State.
The minister posited that Akwa Ibom State with the level of its sports development has a strong and greater determinant factor to the success of the country at international games and competitions and to general sports success in Nigeria.
The sports festival, he explained helps to build a strong base for systematic discovery, identification, training and development of athletes into various sporting activities in a state.
He lauded the efforts of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel in the love shown in sports development in the state stressing that â€œwithin a short possible time Akwa Ibom will be adjudged the best sporting state in Nigeriaâ€.
Declaring the sports festival open, the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel enjoined all the participants to make good use of the opportunity to showcase their talents.
He charged the pupils to exhibit utmost discipline and take the competition serious urging them to also shun cultism and all vices that could be inimical for them to attain their destiny.