By Clarkson Ogo
The Delta State Sports Commission are set to defend their title in the forth coming 19TH National Sports Festival that will kick off next week at the National stadium Abuja with 650 insured athletes that will be participating for the State.
It is on record that Delta State have been the leading state in sports development in Nigeria since the Bauchi 2000 National Sports Festival when all other states of the federation lined behind her to acknowledge her emergence as the leading force.
The matter has not changed since then except for some skirmishes of same programmes where Edo and Rivers States seem to have shifted the goal post for sudden change that they could not retain in the subsequent events as the foundation had no solid ground for sustenance and the God given glory could not depart just like the scepter of Israel that must return to Judea.
Delta State took over in Bauchi 2000 and came to Edo 2004 where they hosted and won in 2004 but Delta retrieved it in Gateway Games of 2006 in Abeokuta and kept faith in Kaduna Kada Games 2009 before Rivers in 2011 where Fivers also hosted to win but failed in Eko 2012 at Lagos as Delta performed more creditably to outshine the rest; thus, went home with the overall trophy.
Unfortunately for the festival, series of complaints inundated the biannual sports meet to the point that Cross River the expected host came up with excuses, pleading for time and other issues, thus prolonged the games this long but with nothing to redeem the need hence the replacement of the host city with Abuja.
The Delta Sports Commission Director for Sports Development, Sir Chris Anazia asserted that Delta State have insured all Delta athletes that will participate in the festival as well as pay their participation fees and all necessary materials for the games. He assured the preparedness of the state to defend the title won six years ago at Lagos.
He further noted that the Delta State Sports Commission Chairman, Chief Tonobok Okowa is keen for victory and very much o encouraging Delta athletes and officials to do their best to ensure that the state is victorious in the festival.
“He came in and has won the Youth Games three consecutive times, that tells you how committed he can be for anything he has determined to do and this one would not be different, we are prepared and God willing, we will win again because we are indeed committed and working for victory” Anazia explained