The Daniel Igali Recreation Centre in Bayelsa state was at the weekend commissioned by the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung.
Dalung at the occasion described Daniel Igali as a sportsman, champion, and a source of pride to the people of Nigeria.
After it was unveiled by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, the two men accompanied by the President of the Nigeria Wrestling federation Daniel Igali and other dignitaries toured the facility which has a gymnasium, a wrestling hall, a basketball court and space for a hostel.
According to Igali, he built the recreation centre for the benefit of Nigerian athletes.
“We believe in a sound mind in a sound body. We believe that youths and adults alike should regularly exercise. Youths should be given the opportunities and avenues to achieve their goals especially in sports and that is why I deemed it fit to build this edifice for our athletes to practice especially for the elite athletes.
“We have also allotted a space for the purpose of building a dormitory so that elite athletes can stay on site and train properly. We are also hoping that in the next two or three months we will have this centre duly accredited by the International Wrestling Federation, so that we can have international coaches sent here officially to coach our athletes.
I hope the edifice will serve the purpose for which it was built,” Igali said.
Earlier during a courtesy visit, the minister thanked Governor Dickson for his contributions to the growth of wrestling in the country.
“I’m convinced that by the support of the governor, wrestling has been tactically domesticated as a heritage for the people of Bayelsa. I commend and congratulate you for hosting and single-handedly financing the National Wrestling Championship which is underway.
Governor Dickson however thanked Barrister Dalung for being the first serving Minister to attend a Wrestling championship and to visit Bayelsa state. He promised to make the Wrestling Championship an annual event.
“We will promote sports development using sports as a veritable tool for the mobilization and redirection of youths’ energy in positive ways. The government of Bayelsa will promote and host this wrestling Championship every year. The next edition will be better organized and publicized than this one and we will throw the gates of Bayelsa open to all stakeholders in wrestling not only in Nigeria but beyond the shores of Nigeria.” the Governor stated.
Over 300 male and female wrestlers are taking part in the National Wrestling Championship holding at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa.