The Federal Government has been commended for the delivering and successful hosting of the 19th National Sports Festival held in Abuja. Also, stakeholders were praised. Best of all was the eulogy on Barr. Solomon Selcap Dalung who since assumption as minister of youth and sport has written his name and legacy in Gold in Nigerian Sports. He attained this record with his dogged stride of achievement, support and development in both youth and sporting activities that shows his record breaking of seven hundred (700) medals in his kitting, alongside a high number of trained youths in varied vocational skill acquisition across the six Geo-political zones of the Nation.
This commendation is contained in the communique issued at the end of the Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the National Council on Sport held at the Nelson Mandela Hall, Edo Heritage Hotel, Benin-city, Edo State recently.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr. Olusade Adesola Chaired the Technical Session that was attended by all Directors of Sport from 32 (thirty two) states, chairmen of Sports Council and Commission. Also, before the Technical Session, participants had an inspection tour of venues/ facilities preparatory to Edo 2020. It is already a known fact that Edo State is the host state for the 20th National Sport Festival tagged “Edo 2020” having won the Hosting Right.
The Executive Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Godwin Noghehase Obaseki was present at the opening ceremony of the National Council on Sports Chaired by the Minister, Barr. Solomon Dalung. The Governor assured that Edo State Government is giving all the needed and necessary support to ensure a long lasting and successful historic 20th National Sport Festival that they are opportuned to host. He said that venues and facilities already on ground are being upgraded, such as the hostels at the University of Benin and the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium with the tartan tracks been replaced with modern ones.
During the meeting, council also approved a few amendments to the National Sports Festival General Rules and Regulation 2018, one of such is Rules II (I) which now reads as follows: A maximum of 32 sports shall feature at the festival (27 compulsory and 5 optional). This is in line with practices obtainable in the organization of major international games i.e Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Continental Games etc. where sports are selected on laid down criteria. It is also to reduce the burden of hosting, organising and participating in the festival.
Furthermore council also enjoined all stakeholder to adhere to the medical Guidelines for National Sports Festival. One of such is that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sport Development directs the National Sports Federation to ensure that all technical Officials should undergo Pre-competition Medical Assessment (PCMA) and submit its report before being allowed to officiate at future National Sports Festival.
The 20th National Sport Festival titled “EDO 2020” is scheduled to hold as follws:
- Opening of Games Village – Friday, March 20, 2020
- Opening ceremony – Sunday March 22, 2020
- Closing ceremony – Wednesday, April 1, 2020
- Closing of Games Village – Friday April 3, 2020
Council also encourage states to bid for the hosting rights for the 21th edition of the National Sports Festival Scheduled for 2022 while also noting that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sport Development now welcomes “Joint Hosting” for the National Sport Festival in order to reduce the burden of individual states in hosting the National Sport Festival.
Edo State Government was highly commended for her efforts to ensure the successful hosting of a spectacular 20th National Sport Festival, come March 2020 in the Ancient town of Benin-city, Edo State.