By Olajide Idowu
Osogbo – Osun government on Monday said it had released N18 million its contingent’s preparation and participation in the 3rd National Youth Games holding in Ilorin, Kwara.
The Commissioner for Social Protection, Sports and Social needs, Mr Biyi Odunlade, made the disclosure in Osogbo while addressing journalists in on the state’s preparedness for the competition.
According to him, the governor, Gov. Rauf Aregbesola has approved and released the said amount for the camping and participation of the athletes and officials.
He noted that the contingent were all in high spirit as they were ready to set out for the Games in the next two days.
He described Aregbesola as “a sports-loving governor’’ who believes that sports enhanced physical and mental development, saying this belief facilitated the prompt release of funds for the Games.
Odunlade said that 68 athletes would represent the state in 17 events, including Athletics, Swimming, Boxing, Scrabble, Weightlifting, Karate, Judo, Table Tennis and Tennis among others.
He said the athletes had been training within and outside the state for a long time, adding that the government looked forward to 10 gold, 15 silver and 19 bronze medals.
He added that the officials and athletes were well prepared, motivated and ready to move, saying that by Thursday, they would all arrive in Ilorin for the Games.
The commissioner said the competition would provide an avenue for engaging the youth and channelling their energies in positive direction.
“The concern is that we must develop the youth, we must develop sports. Besides laurels, sports is a positive attraction for all round development of the body.
“When you do sports, all negative distractions will go as your health will improve and your vision about life will equally improve as you become more righteous,’’ Odunlade said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Youth Games will begin on Sept. 7 and will end on Sept. 17 at the University of Ilorin Sports Complex. (NAN)