Bayelsa Deputy Gov Receives Sports Festival Torch...Advocates Revival of Inter-School Sports Competition To Foster Peace, Unity
Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John -Jonah on Thursday advocated the need for governments at all levels and the private sector to encourage more youth participation in sporting activities, particularly at the grassroots level, towards fostering peace and unity in the country.
Rear Admiral John -Jonah made the plea, when the South-South Zonal Coordinator of the National Sports Commission, Mr. Sunny Obot presented the Torch of Unity for the 19th National Sports Festival to him at the Peace Park in Yenagoa.
He said the move would not only nurture the innate talents of the teeming youths, but will also enable them to channel their energies to positive ventures, build friendships and bridges of unity across the country.
Describing sports as a unifying factor and a money spinner all over the world, the Deputy Governor expressed concern over the dwindling fortunes of inter schools sports festivals in the country and stressed the need to revive it.
Rear Admiral John-Jonah assured the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports of the state's preparedness to fully participate in the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Abuja scheduled to take place from the 6th to 16th of December, 2018.
His words: "When we were part of Rivers state and when we had inter -schools sports competition in Port Harcourt, it was a very big carnival and it was always very exciting. So sports has been a very good unifying factor in this country and everywhere. It is actually a thing of concern for all of us that this is not happening and so we should be very glad that it is coming back to us."
In his remarks, the South-South Zonal Coordinator of the National Sports Commission, Mr. Sunny Obot, said the presentation of the Torch of Unity to the state government was in recognition of Bayelsa's excellent performance in producing Olympic and African champions, as well as to invite the state to participate in the 19th national sports festival.
Mr. Obot, who noted that, the torch of unity signifies peace, was flagged off by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 1st of last month and has since been going round the geo-political zones of the country.
He explained that, the National Sports Festival has come to stay to promote peace and stability in all states of the federation.
Also in his contribution, the state's Commissioner for Sports Development, Mr. Prekiye Buruboyefe, expressed the preparedness of the state's athletes to compete in the Festival, stating that, although, the athletes were expected to be in camp last week Monday, he assured that they would go into
Well I want to thank you, you know sports is an everyday thing. Whether we like it or not we have been preparing our athletes from day one to this minute, it is important we stay in camp but the fact that we are not in camp doesn't make that we are not prepared.
We are more or less like soldiers prepared for war anytime . Yes we are doing all we can to ensure that, under normal circumstances we are to be in camp from last Monday but things don't always work the way we want.
Be that as it may we are hoping we are going into camp very soon and we assure you that we are very prepared.
We are not God like I said but I expect that, we will be among the top 5”