Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Tuesday in Ilorin said the next State Sports Festival would hold in 2022, barring any hitches.
AbdulRazaq gave the assurance on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the 6th National Youth Games (NYG) which ended on Tuesday in Ilorin, the state capital.
Kwara finished sixth on the Games’ final medals table with 10 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals.
Delta State won the 6th NYG for a record sixth time with 114 medals, comprising 60 gold, 26 silver and 28 bronze.
The Games, which was held at the University of Ilorin sports complex, had 34 states and the FCT in attendance with 3,020 athletes and 345 coaches.
According to the organisers, close to a total number of 300 talents were discovered from the 34 sports events competed for.
The 7th NYG is billed to hold in Kano State in 2022.
“Let me congratulate you all. The state appreciates you because we know you improve all the time”, Abdulrazaq told Kwara athletes.
”We had wanted to hold the State Sports Festival this year, but because of COVID-19.
”We will now hold it early in 2022 so as to keep all of you together, keep your synergies together and make sure you excel better in the sports you are doing,” AbdulRazaq told Kwara athletes.
He thanked the athletes for making the state proud at the festival.
The governor told newsmen that the five editions of NYG held in Kwara had led to improvement in the state’s sports facilities and internally generated revenue.
“COVID-19 has made the hosting a bit difficult, because this edition ought to have been held earlier.
”But, in fact, this year’s edition is an improvement on the last one and that of 2019 was also an improvement on the year before.
”The Federal Government is taking the event very seriously and I am glad the Minister of Youth and Sports Development and the Permanent Secretary were here for the event.
”State government officials from all over the federation were also here, and that shows the importance of sports in youth development and in national development,” he said.
AbdulRazaq added that the state government was taking sports as a serious event, and this has shown in the performance of the athletes in comparison with the 2019 edition.