- *Okowa receives Unity Torch, says Delta will triumph at Edo 2020
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The grand finale of the 2019/2020 edition of the Delta State School Sports Festival took place at the Stephen
Keshi Stadium Asaba on Wednesday with an assurance by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa that the state will successfully defend the championship title by winning laurels at the forthcoming National Sports Festival being hosted by Edo State.
Okowa, who also received the national sports Torch of Unity from the national sports contigents during the concluding ceremonies of the state school sports festival at Keshi Stadium, stressed that his administration was determined to sustain the state’s premier position in sports in the country.
He said although he realized that Edo State was determined to host and win the national sports festival, Delta was also leaving no stone unturned to “storm Benin in Grand style” and ensure it maintain the medals haul to top the table like the state had done in previous editions of the competition.
Describing basic and post-primary schools as the foundation for sports development even in the advanced countries of the world, the governor noted that his administration was revamping sports through discovery of sports talents at those levels as well as the development of sports facilities across the state.
The governor, while appreciating ‘the enthusiastic performance of the young athletes”, however, cautioned against all forms of malpractice from the sports officials, teachers as well as the young athletes, noting that became “sports is not a must-win affair”, they must make fairness in the spirit of sportsmanship their watchword throughout the exercise.
“We’re going to Benin in Grand style; we’re going to Benin to win laurels with”, Okowa assured, adding, “I believe, and I hope Delta State will continue to maintain a commanding and leading role in sports development in the country.”
The state commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Patrick Ukah, noted that the 2020 edition of Delta schools festival was the second since the revival of the annual event began under the Okowa administration.
Ukah expressed gladness that this year’s festival was an improvement over the precious edition because the challenges identified had been adequately addressed.
“Following our experience on the maiden edition, we have invented a number of innovations over the previous edition, to further showcase the uniqueness of the of the festival”, Ukah disclosed, saying sports like hockey and cricket were added to the list of sports while the festival mascot – Ogaga – depicts the ‘Stronger Delta’ vision of the administration.
Tagged “Greater Delta Games”, the festival comprises three categories namely Primary, Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary, with over 2,000 schools registering for participation in the games whose preliminaries began on January 27, 2020.