*Team Bayelsa kick off medals chase with three gold in weightlifting
Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, officially declared open the 7th edition of the National Youth Games in Asaba yesterday.
The Minister who represented President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the ceremony attended by 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) urged the athletes to compete fairly and shun the use of performance enhancing substances that will bring shame to them and the various states they represent at the Games. Zamfara was the only State yet to reach Asaba at the opening ceremony.
Enoh who returned to Nigeria yesterday from Spain where he attended the World Football Summit, commended Delta State government for raising the bar in the hosting of the National Youth Games by putting up fantastic facilities and a spectacular opening ceremony.
He believes that all stakeholders have put in place plans to deliver a successful youth games that the nation can be proud of, calling on other states to emulate the Big Heart state.
The Sports Minister stressed that the beauty of this this edition of the Games is the introduction of the National Identification Number (NIN) to curtail age cheats, pointing out that the future of the nation’s sports is on the athletes.
In his message at the opening ceremony of the Games, Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, said sports has become a culture in the State and that nothing would be spared to keep that going. He described the National Youth Games as a vehicle to discover talents in the country.
The Delta Governor hailed the Federal Ministry of Sports for sustaining the National Youth Games in the last seven years, stressing that apart from participation, it has also helped to promote national unity and advanced development across the country.
While describing Delta State as the mecca of sports in Nigeria, assured all the 35 states and the FCT in attendance of a hitch-free National Youth Games.
Earlier in his address, of Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the Games who also doubles as boss of the Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonobok Okowa, pledged that this edition would be the best ever. He assured all the contingents of the best of hospitality in Asaba.
Team Bayelsa kicked off its desire to give the host State that has won all the past six editions of the Games a run for their money. Bayelsa won three gold medals on the opening day in weightlifting.
Stephen Godswill gave Bayelsa the gold in the 49kg Class with action returning today in different centres.