The Delta state contingent to the forthcoming National School Sports Festival scheduled for January 27 to February 2, 2013 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State have promised to win more medals for the state.
The 315 athletes and 70 officials declared: Yes! We Can when the Delta state Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare addressed the contigent on Tuesday, January 24, 2013 at the Anglican Girls Grammar School (AGGS) take-off ground in Asaba.
The 16th Sports of the 5th edition of merger games from Delta state boasts of 315 athletes, selected from Primary and Secondary schools in the 25 local government areas of the state had been in camp from between January 20 and 24.
One of the officials, Coach Odibeli revealed that trials were conducted at the various schools, local governments, zonal and state levels in three categories in Under 13, 14 and 15 respectively.
Blank NEWS Online sources however said that some athletes were also disqualified on age, health and size grounds.
He also told the elated athletes that they would be honoured as ambassadors of the state if they become triumphant in the different games of the tournament.
Speaking on the challenges ahead of the tournament, Prof. Muoboghare said: “The challenge is the regular challenges we have had, where the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will be competing for trophies in different games and we are just one of them.
“Actually the challenge is that Delta state has always come first in the past tournaments and we cannot afford to come second”, adding that “only recently our senior teams did wonders in Lagos and we cannot do less than that.”
The Commissioner who commended Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for ensuring adequate preparations said, “You saw the spirit in these children, they want the competition to start now. Whatever they need throughout the tournament will be provided by the state government and we are fully ready to do do so because the children have been placed under our care by their parents.”
He confirmed that the athletes have been on and off in the camps at the various zones, disclosed that, “it was when the date for the competition was confirmed for Port Harcourt that we decided to bring them to a central place. Some were at the Asaba Township stadium, AGGS, Owashi-Uku and Obiaruku for swimming.”
According to Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, who personally co-ordinated the contigents’ take-off, “We are very ready. In Delta state we don’t send athletes out without adequate preparations. If we could do that for adults, we will do double for children. Don’t forget that these children are without their parents right now. We are their parents and we must make sure that whatever they need in Port Harcourt is provided.”
On the expectations at the National School Sports Festival, Prof. Muoboghare insisted: “We are poised for the number one position. We shall come out tops.”