The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has over the weekend, declared the Maiden edition of the National Para-Sports Festival closed with Team Bayelsa emerging the overall best ahead of Oyo and Kano States.
In his closing remarks during the epic moments of presentation of trophies to the champions at the tournament held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, the Minister described the Festival as a platform for friendship, cultural exchange of values and traditions as well as a proud heritage of our common unity in diversity as a nation.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, the Minister said, “Athletes and officials from 21 states participated in this event and have competed fairly and done their best, displaying determination, perseverance and true sportsmanship throughout the event”.
Dare added that the “Proudest moment of the Games has been created and the unifying power of sports, by overriding national, political, religious and language barriers”.
He stated further that a great spirit of friendship and cohesion has been clearly evident throughout the Games, adding that the exemplary participation of athletes and officials has promoted the spirit of solidarity and unity which provided a veritable platform for all athletes to showcase their potentials and talent.
The Minister who thanked Governors and Officials of participating states for taking up the challenge of sponsorship of their athletes despite the short notice, stressed that the athletes who have displayed extra-ordinary talents will be invited to camp in preparation for the Commonwealth Games holding later in the year.
Dare assured that the present administration remains committed to the development of sports and the general welfare of athletes in the country.
The Para athletes competed in 15 sports with Team Bayelsa emerging overall winner, clinching a total of 93 medals, consisting of 31 Gold, 30 Silver and 32 Bronze medals. Oyo State came second with a total of 60 medals – 24 Gold, 15 Silver, 21 Bronze medals and Team Kano fiinished third on the medals table with 21 Gold, 13 Silver and 8 Bronze medals.
Director (Press & Public Relations)