ASABA – (Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports Development Report) – The curtains gradually draw closer on the 21st edition of the National Sports Festival tagged: “Delta 2022” as six States of the Federation have so far indicated interest to be given the hosting right of the next edition which is expected to hold in 2024.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare disclosed this recently at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, shortly after watching the Gymnastics event between Team FCT, Delta and Ondo at the sports festival.
Dare who was answering questions from journalists said that presently, he does not know which State is going to be the next host until the Committee which is headed by the Director of National Sports Festival & Para Sports Department of his Ministry and the Secretary of the Main Organising Committee (MOC), Mr Peter Nelson submits their report on the hosting right.
He further stated that the report which will reveal the next host is likely to be submitted on Friday 9th of December 2022 which is the eve of the closing ceremony for this Festival. Dare who informed that there is a process to be followed before picking any hosting State, explained that on that day the Director, Peter Nelson will present to him the State that will host. But until then, he would not be able to disclose it. He added that the Committee is working on evaluation and scoring before any decision can be taken on the hosting right.
The Minister revealed that the process will ensure that States which come second and third respectively will get prepared to avoid what happened in the past that saw Cross River State unable to host the event for more than six years.
“When we held Edo 2020, Edo set a standard. It is a change of baton. Now that we are holding Delta 2022, they knew they had to either give the same standard as Edo or do better.
So we signposted that any State that will host must be ready. After Edo State, we set up a Committee to review the MoU. So before any State is engaged, there are clear terms and processes and once you sign into it, you must abide by it. That is very important, but this time around, we will announce the winner – State and then keep the runners-up close to our chest,” he explained.
“We knew then that if Delta would not make it, Abuja was ready. At this point, there are six States that are jostling and the interest is increasing. There is a timeline. We know when a State is not ready and if that happens, we will just switch over to the runner-up.”
Dare expressed his love for Gymnastics, saying he is supposed to be the father of all sports, but the fact that he was there shows his love for Gymnastics. Adding, as a Minister, he always visits the Gymnastics Hall at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
He further observed that most of the Gymnasts were very tiny then and he always followed them up. He revealed surprise at the number of States participating now. He also hinted that whenever anyone goes to the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, one will see the followership, indicating his love for Gymnastics.
Director, Press and Public Relations