By Francis Nansak
Engineer Abdullahi Sule,the governor of Nasarawa State,has personally rewarded each of the athletes who won medals at the U-15 national multi-sport event with the sum of five hundred dollars($500) and one thousand dollars ($1,000) to the Hockey Team.
The Governor’s in his personal reward also gave cash donations to the State’s Hockey Coach, Zainab Sule, Judo Referee, Esther Obile Allu, and Public Relations Officer of the State’s Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Eche Amos,for their outstanding performance at the event.
He equally gave cash donation to Nasarawa United FC cum 2020/21 Nigeria Professional Football League Season top scorer, Silas Nwankwo, who was part of the Management of Nasarawa United FC who presented to the Governor a ten million naira dummy cheque they had won at the 2021 Aiteo Federation Cup in Benin City, Edo State, two months ago.
At a reception held in honour of the State’s athletes and coaches at the Government House, Shendam Road, Lafia, on Thursday, the Governor said, “Let me sincerely thank you all for making the State proud at the just concluded National Youth Games in Ilorin, beginning from the athletes, to the coaches, to the best referee and to the best media person.
“Indeed, we are all working very hard to exceed the expectations which we said we are going to exceed.
“I have been following all the updates about the State contingents performances at the NYG, especially the Hockey Team, and the hard work, through the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, and I was told of all the efforts that the Coach Zainab Sule, had made.
“I was following up until the final between Nasarawa State and Kaduna State, to the point where we beat Kaduna 2-0.
“From that point, I said I needed to see the lady who is our coach. I didn’t know we have so many female coaches from various axis in our beloved State.
“Usually, money is not everything, because I came to realize that a lot of you have rejected bigger offers elsewhere, but have remained stucked to Nasarawa State, commiting all your energy and passion in the State.
“Seriously, I thank you for always making the State proud, and your passion for the job is exceptional.
“So, for all the seven medals you won at the NYG, I am giving each one of the medalis a cash reward of 500 dollars; Silas Nwankwo(because he deserves more) will get 1000 dollars, while Eche and the referee will get 500 dollars each.
“This is my personal donation to you for making the State proud.”
The State’s number one citizen, after listening to the challenges being faced by coaches of the various Sports Associations, promised to meet their demands in no distant time.
He noted that the State Government would construct a befitting mini pitch for the Hockey Team while ensuring that the rechristened Sports Arena in Lafia is well equipped with the necessary indoor and outdoor sporting facilities to reduce the burden on the Lafia City Stadium and enable the State’s athletes compete favourably with their contemporaries in other climes.
Governor Sule encouraged young people to always indulge in sporting activities as it fosters unity and peaceful co-existence, boosts mental and emotional alertness and improves on human resourcefulness.
He used the occasion to thank the immediate past Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Othman Bala Adam, for doing a fantastic job in taking the Ministry to the level it is now.
Speaking earlier, Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Kwanta Yakubu, told the Governor that Team Nasarawa that featured in fourteen sport events won seven medals, comprising three Gold(in Karate, Taekwondo and Hockey), three Silver(in Dart, Taekwondo, and Kung-Fu), and one Bronze Medal(in Ayo trado-sport), and finished 14th position out of 34 States of the Federation and FCT, Abuja, at the Youth Games, a feat he described as the best since the beginning of the youth sporting event in 2013.
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary, Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Aminu Ibrahim Shammah, appreciated the Governor for his magnanimity in granting approval for the State to participate at the Games, adding that the Ministry would continue to do all within its powers to meet the mandate set by the Governor Sule’ administration on youth and sports development.
Among other dignitaries present at the occasion include His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe(Deputy Governor); Barr. Muhammad Ubandoma Aliyu(SSG); Hon. Murtala Lamus(SA, Special Duties to the Governor); Barr. Isaac Danladi(Chairman, Nasarawa United FC), and Comr. Hamza Moyi(SSA, Sports to the Governor).
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