After six years, which the last edition in Lagos in 2012, the 19th National Sports Festival started on Thursday, December 6 on a colourful note at the National Stadium, Abuja with athletes from 26 states participating in the opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony was witnessed by dignitaries such as Boss Musapha, the secretary to the government of the Federation, SGF; Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State; Solomon Dalung, the Sports minister, among several others.
Calisthenics, cultural show, mini durbar, cycling exhibition and skating were on parade on Thursday night.
The cultural performers danced to the tune of the Late Fela Anikulapo- Kuti, the Afro beat legend.
The total number of athletes that will be participating in 40 sports at the festival is 7227. The events will be held over 10 days. The total number of delegates from all the states is 8,861.
The last edition of the event was hosted by Lagos State and ever since efforts to get another host for the sporting event had been unsuccessful. The Federal Capital Territory stepped in as host nine months ago as Cross River State, the original hosts, defaulted in organising the games on schedule.
Nevertheless, Edo State, which is scheduled to host the next edition in 2020, paraded the largest contingent with 591 athletes, followed by Delta, which will feature 545. Lagos has 495 athletes at the festival. Plateau is to be represented by 332 athletes while FCT has 473 athletes on parade.
Mohammed Musa Bello, the FCT minister, expressed delight that the FCT is hosting the Games of Unity. Bello said that infrastructure deployed for the festival could conveniently compare with the best in the world.
The FCT minister, who earlier received the festival touch with Dalung, assured the contingents of their safety and security in Abuja during the duration of the festival.
– Dec. 7, 2018 @ 16:15 GMT |