Youths and Sports Development Minister Mr Sunday Dare has urged Nigerian athletes to keep hope alive on the occasion of the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister of Youth and sports development, Chief Sunday Dare, said the ongoing Edo 2020 National Sports Festival in Benin City has rekindled Nigerian youths hope for a better tomorrow, saying he sees a lot of young people who have future in sports.

Speaking to newsmen yesterday on the sideline of wrestling event at the Games, he said he is excited about the spirit of sportsmanship and excitement that the Games has brought to Nigerians across divines, stating that the biannual sporting shows dubbed ‘Nigerian Olympics’ have showcase a lot talents and skills display.

” We’re seeing a lot talents and skills display in the last 10 days. I am watching the wrestling which is one of our real hopes for medals when it come to the Olympic both the famele and male categories and I see a lot of young people who have future in wrestling.

“So far so good, I’m excited about the excitement that I have seen across all the centres that I have been to since I arrive in Benin.

“My message to the athletes is to remain discipline and continue to train harder as they go back home. I have also seen the spirit of sportsmanship on display here, I have seen those that have won and those that have lost and the spirit of comradeship in them. I think that the future is great for most of these young athletes,” he said.


Speaking further the minister said there was no love lost between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and Edo State government over the initial threat by the host to shutdown the Games, saying they are partners.

“We’re partners and this games wouldn’t have been possible without the Ministry of Youth and Sports or without the Edo State government. If not for COVID-19, everything was set and we were just five days to the Games when the pandemic came and within one year we all have to recover. So, we’re partners and this partnership would continue for the sake of the youth and athletes that we have on this country and sports development in our dear nation.”

He expressed confidence that the athletes who have qualified for Olympic Games and distinguished themselves at the Edo 2020 Games would do Nigerians pround in Tokyo.

“We settle for 11 different sports including track and field and from here records are been broken. You see the new ones that have qualify and this is what we expected from this festival, that is why we call it Nigerian Olympic Shows’. I’m very hopeful that if get all these athletes into camp, get them in shape, focus and support them, these groups of athletes would do Nigerians pround at the Olympic.

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