Sportsmen and women, who participated in the just-concluded Commonwealth Games and the World Athletics Championships Trials, hosted by Edo State, have applauded the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration for its investment in sporting infrastructure in the state.
The competition is part of activities lined up by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) in preparation of Nigerian athletes for the World Championship in Oregon, USA as well as the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The trials held between 23rd and 25th June, 2022, with the state showcasing its world-class facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to the over 1000 top athletes from the country and beyond, who clinched tickets for the global tournaments.
The state government undertook a massive reconstruction of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in furtherance of the government’s unprecedented investment in sports. The stadium hosts a main bowl, an ultra-modern Olympic-sized swimming pool, indoor sports hall, a new four-in-one tennis court and spectators’ stands, a two-storey secretariat building, a squash court, weightlifting and Para-powerlifting halls, which is attached to the main bowl, and a suspended gymnasium hall for weightlifting, kickboxing and boxing, among other facilities.
The state has since then become a sporting hub and home of global competitions, playing host to various national and international tourneys including the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival; Olympics Trials; Nigeria’s Women Football League, the Super Six Tournament; the Aiteo Cup for male and female categories and the Group L 2021 AFCON Qualifier between Nigeria and Sierra Leone, among others.
Speaking to journalists in Benin City, some of the athletes commended the state government for its huge investment in sports, which they noted has placed the state ahead of others in terms of sports development.
A U.S.-based Nigerian athlete, who participated in the trials, Jude Nwafor said he was quite impressed with the world-class facilities at the stadium, hailing the government for paying critical attention to sports in the state.
He said, “The facilities at the stadium are of global standards, which is quite impressive. This is an affirmation that the government acknowledges the role of sports for youth development and job creation and is deeply concerned about harnessing the potential of its youthful population using sports. This is very commendable and should be a shining example to other subnationals.”
On his part, a resident and convener of the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Esan Agenda, Mr. Akhere Obozele, commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for the investment in sporting infrastructure in the state, noting that “today, Edo has become a sporting hub and has continued to play host to numerous national and international competitions.”
He added, “Apart from the upgrade of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, the state has constructed 20 other mini stadia across the state, leveraging the sporting potential of the state to drive job creation and socioeconomic development. We must commend the governor and urge him not to relent on his mission of transforming the fortunes of Edo State through investment in all sectors of the state’s economy.”
Source: Edo State Government