Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said his administration would continue to develop school sports as to ensure that raw talents are tapped.
The governor gave the assurance on Wednesday during the grand finale of Greater Delta Games 2020 School Sports festival.m, which ended on Wednesday, 12th March, 2020.
At the end of the championship, College of Commerce, Warri, clinched the first position and followed by Asagba Mixed Secondary School, Asaba and West-End Secondary Schools, also in Asaba.
According to the governor, school sports remains the foundation of grassroots sports in any society and the individual schools are the driving force.
“From inception, this administration became committed to the development of grassroots sports; as there are countless raw and budding talents that abound in our schools across the nooks and crannies of the State which are wasting but waiting and begging to be tapped which is why my administration is unequivocally committed to the provision of sports equipment and facilities in all schools across the State.
“We will continue to do this until every school, even in the remotest community in the State, is provided with standard sporting equipment and facilities; this is part of our Stronger Delta vision and agenda of this administration.
“This sports festival is designed as one of the numerous sporting events to provide another opportunity to shape the future of our youths; participation in sports, especially athletics, is one sure way our youths can learn various significant life skills like team work, leadership, responsibilities and discipline.
“Here in Delta State, our people are very passionate about sports, which is an impetus for our ceaseless efforts to maintain the State’s dominant position in all sports.
“Our world today shows that school sports can become a foundation on which our future in sports is built and my administration is steadfast on youth empowerment hence its commitment to also improve on sports and the facilities at all levels.
“Today’s event is therefore in line with our goal of providing opportunity to every youth to avail them very conducive atmosphere to exhibit their talents and this sports festival is coming at a most auspicious time when sports in general has become both major recreational and career pursuits attracting greater economic attention worldwide.”
Governor Okowa who congratulated those who participated in the festival, called on well meaning individuals, corporate organisations and non-governmental organisations, including international bodies to partner with his administration in sponsoring sporting events, observing that no government can single-handedly shoulder the huge financial responsibility of organising sports.
Earlier in an address, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education in the state, Chief Patrick Ukah said, over 2000 schools participated in the athletics events for Primary, Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools catergories.
He commended the governor for reviving school sports including the Headmasters and Principals Cup, including the compulsory annual school inter-house sports competition in all public schools in the state.
In the competitions proper, the three top finishers at the end of the 2020 Delta State Schools Sports Festival, showed top class performance that earned them their positions in the keenly contested competition.
With 17 medals made up of 10 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze, College of Commerce, Warri, lifted the giant gold trophy.
Zappa Basic Secondary School, Asaba, and Westend Mixed Secondary School, Asaba, had a total of 15 medals each but Zappa finished 2nd with 9 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze, while Westend had 7 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze to settle for the 3rd place trophy.
Ekiugbo Secondary School, Ughelli, St. Peter/Mary Juniorate, Asaba, and Osadenis Mixed Secondary School, Asaba, came 4th, 5th and 6th with 3 gold, 3 silver, 0 bronze, 3 gold, 1 silver, 0 bronze, 3 gold, 0 silver and 1 bronze respectively.
In the primary school category, Cavegina Primary School, Warri, garnered 5 gold, 0 silver and 1 bonze medals to lift the winners trophy in the junior contest.
Ezemese Primary School, Ibusa, came 2nd with 2 gold 1 silver and 0 bonze medals, while the 3rd position went to Omenta Primary School, Orerokpe, with 2 gold 0 silver and 0 bronze.
Meanwhile, four students of the same parents from Zappa Basic Secondary School, Asaba, dominated the Chess event during the festival.
Adaeze, Divine, Jeffrey and Victor Odigili picked a gold each in male and female categories of the event.
Two other students of the same parents from the same school, Precious Chukwu and Chinedu Chukwu, won 3 gold medals each in Badminton.
Meanwhile, Delta State Governor Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa also received the Touch of Unity for the Upcoming Edo 2020 National Sports Festival from the Representative of the Minister of Sport Mr Sylvester Essiet, in the company of the Deputy Governor Barr. Kingsley Otuaro at the Stephen Keshi International Stadium, Asaba.