Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung believe the future of Nigerian sports lie in grassroots development.
Yesterday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium over 20,000 students were present to watch the commencement of the first ever Akwa Ibom State Youth Festival, declared open by Emmanuel, with Dalung as special guest of honour.
Emmanuel charged the students to see the competition as a common spring board to fame and a brighter future, while the sports minister commended the state government for leading in what will determine the future sports fame of the country.
Dalung said that only an investment in the youth would make him miss a top flight match in London involving the Super Eagles of Nigeria, and promised to do everything in his power to help Akwa Ibom sustain ‘this laudable and far reaching project.’
Governor Emmanuel in his speech said by exposing the students to the best sporting facilities at an early age, his administration was giving them wings to soar to greater heights.
This, he added, gave rise to the establishment of sporting centres in each of the 10 Federal constituencies of the state, of which one has been completed in Itu and another nearing completion in Eket Federal constituency.
He said his “administration sees sports development as a valuable gift to our children and youths,” and urged “participants to endeavour to make maximum use of this opportunity, and make it a visa to the land of stardom.”