President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a congratulatory message to Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, over their top spot at the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja.
President Buhari described Delta State’s top spot at Abuja 2018 as a confirmation of Okowa’s administration’s commitment to sports development.
Buhari said that made it possible for Team Delta to emerge victorious at the festival where sports men and women from all states of the nation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) competed for medals.
The President, who was represented at the closing ceremony by sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, described the performance of Delta State as amazing.
Okowa’s wards emerged tops by bagging a total of 352 medals – 88 silver, 101 bronze – ahead of Rivers State that got a total of 194 medals.
Before the delegation left for Abuja, Okowa motivated Team Delta to victory when he made a promise of N1m for each gold medal, N500, 000 for silver and N250, 000 per bronze.
Okowa, who was present with some members of the state executive council to cheer Team Delta, stated that investing in sporting events should not be toyed.
He pointed out that it does not only keep the youths positively engaged but is also a huge money-spinner.
Okowa also congratulated Team Delta for emerging victorious despite being the defending champions.
He added: “We are not only developing sports facilities, we are doing all that we can to catch them young.
“We have the Principals and the Headmaster’s Cup and from January, we shall have athletics championship that will involve the secondary and primary schools in the state.
“Beyond that, we will encourage the young ones to go into the future with the determination to succeed, we will continue to invest in sports.
“We congratulate Team Delta, they did very well and we are proud of them.”