Abuja – Mr Wande Fabuluje, General Manager (GM) of the Ondo State Sports Council, has said that the 2019 National Youth Games (NYG) would serve as a ground to assess progress of the state grassroots sports development programme.
Fabuluje told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) ahead of the 2019 NYG: “we have been engaged in aggressive grassroots sports development over the past three years and the Youth Games will be a very good test ground to appraise what we have achieved,” he said.
Fabuluje, then acting GM of the state’s sports council, had told NAN at the 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF) in Abuja that the state hinged its sports activities on grassroots development.
The sports administrator, whose appointment was recently confirmed, said the council had completed preparations for the 2019 NYG.
“Ondo State is participating in 15 sports at the event and we have just concluded the process of screening our athletes on Monday.
“We had participated in the elimination series in Ibadan and we came out very strongly. In team sports, we qualified for handball and football,” he said.
The National Youth Games is an annual sporting event organised by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for athletes within the age of 15 and under.
The 2019 edition of the Games is scheduled to hold from Sept. 7 to Sept. 17 at the University of Ilorin sports centre, Ilorin.
According to Fabuluje, Ondo State will be represented by about 120 athletes in two team sports and 13 individual events.
The sports are: Football, handball, athletics, boxing, badminton, darts, wrestling, gymnastics, swimming, judo, taekwondo, ayo, weightlifting, para-lifting and canoeing.
Athletes across the country will participate in a total of 34 sports at the Games.
Ondo State finished 10th on the medals table in the 2018 NSF in Abuja and Fabuluje was upbeat that the state would finish even stronger at the next edition tagged ‘Edo 2020’.
“When a tree falls on another, we first of all remove the one on top. We have sent our request in preparation for the 2020 National Sports Festival to Mr Gov. for early preparations.
“We have been assured that logistics will be made available on time. But we have to first finish with the National Youth Games.
“After the tournament, I can assure you that our focus will turn to the National Sports Festival,” he said.