The Imo state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Dan Chike Ogu, has commended the glorious Imo state para-athletes who did the state proud at the 1st edition of the National Para-Sports Festival in Abuja.
The sports fiesta which was held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, saw Imo state place sixth with 16 gold, 25 silver and 18 bronze medals making it a total of 59 medals for Nigeria’s Eastern Heartland. It also placed Imo state as the best team from the Southeastern region of Nigeria.
Bayelsa won 31 gold, 30 silver and 32 bronze medals to emerge champions. Oyo State finished second on the final medals table with a total of 60 medals, 24 gold, 15 silver and 21 bronze medals while Kano state placed third with 42 medals consisting 21 gold, 13 silver and 8 bronze medals.
The Chief of Sports in Imo stated that “I witnessed a week of intense action, passion, and camaraderie and I commend the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development headed by Sunday Dare for hosting the National Para-Sports Festival, which has given the special athletes a sense of belonging in the society. It is very important because the athletes are happy to compete and use sports to unite. The athletes are delighted to come together as a family regardless of our tribe, or religion”.
Speaking in Abuja where he’s been with the team all through the Sports festival, Hon. Ogu noted that the pursuit of sporting excellence made Governor Hope Uzodimma dedicate investment to sports development by undertaking major redevelopment of the Dan Anyiam Stadium, construction and reconstruction of sporting facilities, reintroducing school sports so as to get athletes and other sporting talents, right from the primary and secondary school levels, giving out sporting equipments to many schools across Imo state and hailed the Shared Prosperity Government captain for his love for sports and youth development.
The Sports Commissioner opined that Imo state has a very rich and robust sports culture which span scores of years and reiterated that sports development is on an upward spiral as he will ensure that Imo will do better at the next and subsequent editions of the #NationalParaSportsFestival as Imo has returned to her status as a global sports hub. He also appealed for private sector and corporate partnerships and sponsorship in developing the youths and sports in Imo state.