Aftermath of the Team Oyo impressive performance at the just concluded 20th National Sports Festival in Edo State, Governor Seyi Makinde has announced a resounding cash award amounting to over 50 million naira to all those that won medals for the state including their coaches.
The Pacesetter State governor has hereby set another pace in the annals of sports motivation and encouragement of athletes and officials across the South-West States.
Governor Makinde who was delighted with the state contingent performance at the sports festival held across various centres in the Benin City announced a sum of 500,000 for gold, 300,000 for silver and 250,000 naira for bronze medalist as well as N500,000 for each coach in respective of medals won by their athletes.
Newsnigeriaonline.com.ng recalled that Team Oyo won 31 gold, 30 silver and 42 bronze medals to place sixth at the sports festival, the result was regarded as the Team Oyo best performance in more than a decade.
He announced this gesture when during the welcoming ceremony for the Oyo State athletes held at the Governor’s Office, Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, the state capital on Wednesday.
Makinde expressed joy at the result and commended the athletes and their coaches for a job well done and for making Oyo State proud throughout the biennial sports festival.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome our athletes, our fighters who just returned from Edo State. I am glad with the results and I want to commend the athletes and the coaches for a job well done and making Oyo State proud.
“For us to show appreciation to our medalists and the coaches, we won’t promise you something we won’t be able to do. I will make some pledges now and it has to be done within the next two weeks maximum.
“For each gold medal, we would pay N500,000, we would give N350,000 for each silver medal, we would give N250,000 for bronze medal, and for the coaches irrespective of the medal won, we would give each coach N500,000,” he stated.
Furthermore, he pledged that his administration would continue to encourage youths participation in sports even at the grassroots level, adding that facilities were being put in place to ensure that the state produces World record holders in the near future.
He stressed: “This government will continue to encourage sports development even at the grassroot level. That is why, across the geopolitical zones of Oyo State, we are upgrading sports facilities so we should start seeing the results from that investment.
“I am sure we will see instant results at the next national sports festival which is scheduled to take place next year.
“This government has been committing a lot of resources towards sports development in the state. Apart from the Lekan Salami stadium that is undergoing serious upgrading right now, the same type of track pattern whereby Usain Bolt made history is the same one that is being installed at the stadium. So, in the years to come, I believe we would also produce our world record holders in Oyo State.”
However, in his usual jovial manner, he injected some humour into his remarks by issuing a challenge to some of the medalists, notably the tennis and ayo olopon gold medalists, stating that if he beats them in a match, he would represent the state at the next sports festival.
“And for some of you, especially the tennis medalists, for me to believe your medal, you have to beat me in a game of tennis. So, I am going to organise tennis competition to match up with you, so don’t rest on your oars.
“The ayo olopon medalists, actually I need to invite you to my house this weekend, I have one and I have beating everybody, so I need you to show me how you won the medal. If I beat you, I am going for the next National sports festival,” he joked.
The governor hereby reiterated his continued support for the athletes adding that he has set a goal of 100 gold medals for the next edition of the sports festival which comes up next year in Delta State.
He said: “I have set a target of at least 100 gold medals for the next sports festival and everything that will aid the realization of that vision will definitely be put in place.
“I have listened to the request put forward by the sports council. One assurance I can give to you is that Oyo State will continue to encourage its own athletes to even do more. When we came in as an administration and we saw the file on the medalists at the 2018 event.
“People can make promises and without mincing words, we met several unfulfilled promises. We tried to investigate why those promises were never fulfilled and we found out that there was no intention from day one to fulfill those promises because we discovered that none of the processes of fulfilling the promise was embarked on.
“But, we picked it up and within the limited resources that were available to us, we fulfilled a percentage of those promises that were made.
“I believe that even for this particular event, we encouraged the Oyo State Sports Council to give something to the medalists instantly they confirmed that they won a medal and I saw pictures of that.
“If some states are trying to poach you, you don’t need to go because Oyo State will definitely provide the required atmosphere for you to train and grow.
“So, on behalf of the government and the people of Oyo State, we want to first congratulate you, thank you for making us proud and we want to wish you the best in your careers and future competitions.
“We are here to support you, we are rooting for you and I look forward to training and competing lightly with some of you soon.”