Kwara team departs for Edo with 233-man contingent for National Sports Festival

April 4, 2021
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Team Kwara on Saturday left for the 20th National Sports Festival in Benin with a 233-man contingent, 128 more than the state’s team to the 2018 festival in Abuja.

The contingent has 166 athletes, who will compete in 27 events, coaches, secretaries, protocol officers, cleaners, security, helpers, and other accompanying officials.

The officials are from the state’s Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, led by the Permanent Secretary, Iyabo Banire.

The 27 events include athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, cricket (male), darts, scrabble, squash, tennis, para-tennis, karate, taekwondo, judo, wrestling, cycling and table tennis.
The rest are golf, volleyball, deaf and blind athletics, power-lifting, weightlifting, wushu kungfu, kick-boxing, para-table tennis and para-athletics.

While briefing newsmen before their departure for Benin, the Director of Sports, Atanda Alarape, said the 166 athletes across the 27 events were carefully selected, based on merit and strength.

“Our target is to go to Benin and win medals, as we have mapped out our strategies to maximise participation, especially in areas of our strength.
“By doing so, we cut down on some areas, as we are not going for a jamboree, and not to complete numbers,” Alarape said.

He commended the Kwara governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for raising the stakes, especially approving money for both open and closed camping, as well as for the festival proper.

Alarape also commended the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, coaches and secretaries and the other officials, for their understanding throughout their preparation for the festival.
He charged the athletes to put the interest of the state at heart, and be good ambassadors of the state by competing fairly for medals at the festival

(NAN)

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