- Sport News
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- Isesele Ezekiel, Benin-City
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Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, over the week splashed a whooping sum of N41 million cash reward on the state contingent to the just concluded 2012 National Sports Festival, recently held in Lagos.
The governor, who held a reception for the athletes at the Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, frowned at the win-at-all-cost attitude as displayed by some states. He lamented that such disposition does not augur well for sports development.
He announced a cash reward of N1m, N300,000 and N200,000 respectively for each Gold, Silver and Bronze medals respectively won at the festival.
The coaches and officials that led the athletes to the festival were not left out of the largesse as the governor announced a cash reward of one million naira each for every gold winning coach while other coaches received N300, 000.
Oshiomhole who said the spirit of the festival is gradually being eroded by the win-at-all-cost antics of some states said, “when a state government decides to use and hire athletes as if they were mercenary soldiers, just to record achievements, that for me is not the spirit of the National Sports Festival and it is important that the National Sports Festival must make conscious efforts to stop these malpractices, these corrupt tendencies’’, he stressed.
“We cannot be talking of corruption in the economy, corruption in the oil sector and people are bringing corruption into the sports sector. It is risky, it is damaging and it doesn’t do our country any good in terms of image’’.
“That is why Nigerian referees are never listed to officiate in international matches as assistant referees or main referee. Now we are playing in the Nations Cup and there are no Nigerian referees. I think the sports authorities must do everything possible to remove corrupt practices from the National Sports Festival so that the spirit of the Festival is not lost.”
The state won a total ninety three medals at the Festival, made up of 25 Gold, 24 Silver and 44 Bronze medals.
The stars of the state at the Festival were a female Swimmer Victoria Ajakaiye who won 5 Gold and 2 Silver medals; Weightlifter Gideon Aigbefor who won 3 Gold Medals and female Gymnast, Melvin Amenaghawon who won 2 Gold Medals.