By Huseyn Mbar
Bauchi – Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State said on Tuesday that the state was sponsoring 107 athletes to the National Youth Games, “Kwara 2016’’.
Abubakar, represented by Zubairu Madaki, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, made the assertion in Bauchi during a farewell ceremony organised by the government for the contingent.
He explained that the contingent comprised of the athletes, coaches and security agents.
Abubakar recalled that 30 members of the 80-man contingent, that represented the state in Abuja 2013 edition, were selected to represent the country in international outings.
The governor described the tournament as a veritable tool for selecting talents that would represent either the state or the country at various sports arena.
Abubakar said the state government would continue to accord sports priority in spite of its lean financial resources.
This, he said, became necessary to enable the contingent to participate and excel during the tournament.
He added that necessary security measures had been provided in Ilorin, the Kwara capital, for the contingent.
He noted that the governor directed the Ministry for Sports to organise annual state sports festival to enable it to scout for talents that would represent the state in any tournament.
Abubakar urged members of the contingent to be good ambassadors of the state while in Kwara and wished them the best.
Miss Martha Joshua, one of the athletes, who spoke on behalf of her colleagues and officials, commended the government for according sports priority in spite the scarce resources at its disposal.
Joshua, who promised that the contingent would be disciplined and represent the state well, called for prayers from individuals to enable them to excel.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Games will take place from Sept. 22 to Sep.30 in Ilorin.
Bauchi will feature in the Athletics, Badminton, Table Tennis, Para-Table Tennis, Chess, Scrable, Taecwondo, Judo and Wrestling.
Others are Karate, Para-Athletics, Cricket, Skating, Rowing and Yachting.