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Edo 2020: 873 Rivers Athletes Hit Camp

No fewer than 873 athletes that will represent Rivers State at the National Sports Festival in Edo 2020 have gone into camp at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Complex, Port Harcourt.

The Vortex correspondent who visited the camp observed that the athletes are in high spirit, training at the various venues with determination to make the state proud at the festival.

A breakdown of the athletes in camp showed that a total of 72 are for athletics including their officials, 34 for kungfu, and kick-boxing 39 while Volleyball and  swimming have 36 and 46 athletes respectively.

Also in Camp are 29 Deaf athletes, , Para-athletics, 45, Para-table tennis. 16, Deaf table tennis, 16, while 25 are for Judo and 22 males for Hockey.

Others are 24 Basketball players, 36 Handball players, and 22 Abula players among others.

Rivers State athletes are to leave Port Harcourt for the National Sports Festival in Edo on March 20, 2020 as the opening ceremony of the event is scheduled to hold on March 22, 2020.

Speaking with our correspondent during the visit, the Festival Secretary and Public Relations Officer of Rivers State Sport Council, Chief Christopher Chioma  promised that with the zeal by the Commissioner for Sports, Hon. Boma Iyaye and the Permanent secretary Mr. Honour Sirawoo, the team will surely come home in flying colours at the end of the festival.

Chioma said it is normal not to expect 100 percent comfort while in camp, but as soon as both helmsmen visited the camp, the challenges such as electricity, water and incentives they reported were taken care of.

He noted that the state Director of Sports, Mrs. Mildred Hart is also working relentlessly to see that welfare of athletes is given deserved attention.   

Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Monday received the Torch of Unity with less than two weeks to the commencement of the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin City, Edo State.  The torch has continued its journey to Bayelsa State.

At a ceremony held at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Centre in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike, represented by the Commissioner for Sports, Hon. Boma Iyaye received the torch from the South-South Zonal Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Sylvester Essiet.

Governor Wike, while welcoming the Ministry officials, emphasized once again the state’s leadership role as a stakeholder in the Sports Festival history.

“This torch is one of the keys to the hosting of the National Sports Festival. As you are all aware, Rivers State is a major player and stakeholder in the affairs of the NSF. We are always counted among the best when it comes to the National Sports Festival. We also know that the National Sports Festival is like the Olympics of Nigeria. It goes a long way to bring unity among our youths. It binds our youths and encourages our youths,” said Governor Wike.

He assured the state’s athletes of all necessary support ahead of the Festival, insisting that the state will not be going to Edo to participate alone but to make a good showing.

“We’re not just prepared to go and compete in Edo 2020, we will make sure we are counted among the best in the comity of States,” he stressed.

Also at the ceremony were the new Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Sports and President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo, officials, coaches, and athletes.

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