The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has expressed delight with the presence of over 4,000 athletes from 33 states at the fifth edition of the National Youth Games (NYG).
The Minister expressed this, while fielding questions from newsmen at the Ilorin International Airport on Tuesday morning, ahead of the opening ceremony of the NYG billed for the University of Ilorin, later same day.
“Within the next days we will witness over youth display talents which when harnessed, will do the nation proud in the nearest future.
“Having 33 states on ground for this edition is quite impressive. It shows awareness is getting higher,” he said.
When asked if the states that failed to turn up for this edition would be sanctioned, he said on the contrary, they would be persuaded to participate in subsequent editions.
“For states not here, I intend to visit them and persuade them to feature in subsequent editions,” he said.
On what is expected from him and his team, he said expectations are very high.
” Nigeria is a sports loving nation, and though sports development in this country has had challenges, there is hope for a brighter future,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that, “Funding remains a big challenge, we look forward to corporate bodies coming in to support sports development. We want to see corporate organisations come to build stadia and invest in sports.”
He however, assured that they are exploring viable options of how to make sports big business that it is all over the world, in Nigeria.
“We want to build a business model around sports. Sports is big business and we intend to make it big business in Nigeria,” he added.
On how he intends to end age cheats and doping in sports in the country, he assured that scientific measures are being explored.