December, 1 2022.
By Kehinde Osagiede
_As Gov Obaseki inspires team Edo.
Sporting activities are now in full swing at the ongoing 2022 National Sports Festival holding in Asaba,Delta state after a colourful opening ceremony on Tuesday evening with teams already slogging it out for medals.
Team Edo started well with 3-2 and 3-0 win in table tennis as Gbenga Aluyo revved from 2-0 down to dispatch his Imo state opponent to win 3-2, 3-0 to qualify his team for the second round. Ajulo Gbenga won is single 3-2 over is Oyo counterpart. The winner of the second single between Yinka Oladipopu of Edo tennis team with his Oyo opponents will enter the medals table in the table tennis teams event.
In cricket, Edo with a formidable team already showing their intimidating force in the energy saping game,roaring for glory. Dart and other games involving Team Edo are ongoing and they hope to get their medals. Team Edo female footballers who are defending champions will be filing out against Imo state by 10:00am at Ogwashi-uku stadium tomorrow.
The 21st National Sports Festival tagged " Delta 2022 Beyond The Medals" officially began on Tuesday as scheduled at the Stephen Keshi Township Stadium in Asaba, the Delta State capital with the representatives of the 36 states including Edo in attendance.
The sports loving Governor of Edo state Mr Godwin Enogheghase Obaseki and his wife Betsy did not only grace the occasion but joined team Edo during the March past,inspiring his Edo contingent who described the Governor's presence as a surprise package for them.
The ceremony began at about 6:00pm with entertainment of guests by different cultural groups, displaying the diverse cultures of the Niger Delta region.
The ceremony was climaxed with the host Governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa declaring the games formally opened with assurance of enjoyable events and time for the visitors.
The Delta state governor who took over the Barton of NSF hosting right from his neighbouring state Governor Mr Godwin Obaseki,highlighted some of the gains of the National Sports Festival,saying that the national games remained a breeding ground for discovery of talents and nurturing same to becoming champions at national and international levels.
He sued for the sustenance of the festival which came into being in 1973 after the end of the Nigeria civil war which further widened the ethnic intolerance of Nigeria.
According to the Governor,Sports Festival is one of the programmes initiated to encourage integration and national unity after the war which should be given better priority now in the country.
The 2022 sports Festival is expected to last between Monday November 28th to Saturday,December 10th,2022.
The 36 states and the FCT have a total of 38 games to compete for out of which Team Edo who were runners up at the last edition hosted in Benin is competing in 36 with a large contingent of about 700 Athletes.
Meanwhile the host state,Delta have taken the lead with first gold medal in cyclisting after Team Edo and Rivers were disqualified for their inability to present the minimum three female cyclists required for the event on Tuesday.