Published: 20 January 2020
Nasarawa State’s Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Othman Bala-Adam has urged the state’s athletes to the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) North Central Zonal Prelims to make the state proud.
He gave the charge on Sunday in Lafia at a farewell ceremony for the 160-member contingent heading to Ilorin for the four-day elimination competition.
He said the athletes would do this by securing qualification for the festival by all fair means.
Zonal elimination competitions are slated for Tuesday to Friday ahead of 2020 NSF scheduled for Benin from March 22 to April 1.They are usually organised by the national sports federations of team events to select the best state teams that will represent the six geo-political zones at the main competition.
Speaking at the ceremony in Lafia, Bala-Adam said the Nasarawa state government was aware of the importance of the NSF and the opportunities associated with it for both state and athletes.
“Therefore, we must take the zonal elimination contest seriously and secure qualification in the various events for the 2020 NSF.
“I can assure you that success at the zonal elimination competition and the NSF main event will yield life-changing rewards for all athletes.
“Your success will promote the state as a hub of unique sports talents,’’ he said.
The commissioner assured them of surprising rewards if they secure qualification for the 2020 NSF in Edo.
“You must go there and showcase the brand of Nasarawa State and that brand is of excellence. That brand is of exceeding all possibilities we met on ground.
“I am very optimistic that with the kind of young men and women I have seen today, so eager to excel, perform and give results, I have no doubt in my mind that you will all do us proud.
“If you have a positive mindset, you will excel in whatever you do and I am very optimistic that this crop of athletes has a positive mindset towards winning.
“We will pray for you. But, beyond prayers, as a state we will surprise you. Give us results and we will give some incentives you never bargained for. This is a commitment from the government.
“We want all of you to go to Benin and I want you to hold me to my word that if you secure qualification, the state government will do something special for you,” he said.
Bala-Adam however cautioned the athletes to be good ambassadors of the state not just in their conduct on the pitch but also off the pitch of play.
Responding on behalf of the contingent, Sani Musa, Team Leader/Head Coach of state volleyball teams, assured that the contingent would perform excellently to qualify for the 2020 NSF.
“Shame will not come to Nasarawa State because we have resolved to put in our best when we get to Kwara,” he said.
The contingent is comprised of male football team, male handball team, male hockey team, male and female volleyball teams, and male and female basketball teams.
The contingent also had technical officials and administrative officials.