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Edo 2020: Every gold medal attracts N1m — Gov. Okowa

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By Ifeanyi Olannye

Delta Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Friday assured the state contingent at the 20th National Sports Festival held in Edo from April 2 that each gold medal won at the festival would attract a million naira award. .

The governor made the announcement during a pre-departure prayer session for the contingent at Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba and reaffirmed that the state will continue to reward deserving athletes.

He reiterated that the award would be a repeat of what the athletes received for the medals won at the 19th edition of the festival held in Abuja.

He said that each silver medal won attracted N 500,000 to the athlete while bronze medal winners received N 250,000 for each medal.

He instructed Delta Sports Commission to ensure that team members enjoy the best possible comfort during games, adding that the team should avoid any negative incidents in Edo.

“Over the past few months, you have gone through some difficult times that are discouraging you.

“But finally, we give glory to God because the 20th National Sports Festival will begin today.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all plans including the nation’s economy and even sports have been badly affected, but we thank God that the National Sports Festival is finally taking off.

“At the last sports festival, the athletes made us very proud as a state, because we were very adamant in our victory and we not only won the victory, we actually dominated the games.

“It turned out that we had no competition and I know that when you go to Benin you have to be vigilant and engaged with the passion to re-enact our victory in Abuja 2019.

“The ability to win starts from within and you have to be passionate and you have to dream it to make it happen.

“We are not afraid of the numbers that will win, because as many athletes who win will receive their cash awards,” he said.

On the inability of foreign athletes to attend the festival, the governor said that God took the opportunity to showcase budding talent.

He urged the athletes to pray and work hard, adding that God would renew their strength and give them the energy to excel.

Go to Edo State to win and dominate the National Sports Festival.

“Many states are preparing to move you but I am confident this cup will return to Delta State because I know the grace of God is with you all.

“We have continuously won the festival and I know we will continue to win, and I want to urge you to trust yourself and believe in God to lead you to victory,” Okowa said.

Previously, the Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonobok Okowa, said the Delta team was ready and fully prepared for the “Edo Games 2020.”

He assured that the contingent would win the games thanks to Governor Okowa’s support and encouragement to the athletes.

“It’s time to go to Benin City for the 20th National Sports Festival which has suffered several postponements, but thank goodness we are now ready to go.

“The athletes have suffered so much psychologically, but I know they are in a good mood and are motivated enough to make us proud.

“As reigning champions in Abuja 2019, we won with a total of 352 medals, including 163 gold, 88 silver and 101 bronze.

“This time, due to several postponements, most of our foreign athletes could not show up because they qualified to go to the Olympics.

“Despite this, Delta will always parade good athletes who will fight for medals because you have always encouraged us and you have given us everything we need to perform well,” said the President.

(NAN)

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