The upcoming 21st edition of the National Sports Festival, dubbed “ASABA 2022,” which is slated to take place from November 28 to December 10, 2022, at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State, is expected to have 296 athletes from Oyo State competing in 32 games.
Chairman, Oyo State Sports Council, Honourable Gbenga Adewusi made this known on Tuesday, at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan.
In a statement, the Sports Council’s Director of Media and Communication, Tunde Ajibike, stated that the chairman had also stated that fifty technical officials from Oyo State had registered to officiate at the National Sports Festival and that the state was doing everything possible to ensure adequate preparation to win and perform superbly in the upcoming competition.
He confirmed that some sports are already in open camp to fortify their skills and proficiencies.
Honourable Adewusi remarked that the National Sports Festival is the Nigerian version of the Olympics games to showcase and nurture the potential of the nation’s upcoming athletes for the development of sports in Nigeria, stressing that it also serves as the breeding ground for the production of outstanding talent.
The chairman said further that he is optimistic about the victory of the Oyo team because they recorded enviable and exceptional track records in the past.
“They came fifth in the 2020 edition of the National Sports Festival held in Benin city and also emerged second overall position in the first National Para Games tagged “Abuja 2022.
“We are all basking in the euphoria of the outstanding performance of our three weightlifters who won gold, silver, and bronze respectively at the Commonwealth games held in Birmingham recently”, he stated.
Honourable Adewusi also posited that most of the known talents and outstanding stars that made Nigeria proud were discovered during the previous National Sports Festival and commended the Federal Government for sustaining the bi-annual National Sports tournament.
Addressing the athletes during their training sessions, Honourable Adewusi handed the athletes a tall order to surpass the standard set in the previous editions.
“I will like to enjoin all the athletes to redouble your efforts to win more laurels for Oyo State, the state is looking forward to winning more gold medals that will facilitate representation of Nigeria in an international tournament in the foreseeable future”.
He also praised Governor ‘Seyi Makinde for fostering an environment that allowed innovative and forward-thinking ideas to flourish in the sports industry, emphasising that the renovation and upkeep of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex and the other five sports facilities spread out among the state’s geopolitical zones have confirmed that Oyo State prioritises sports and sporting activities.