THE Ondo State government has rewarded the 300 athletes who made the state proud at the 2012 National Sports Festival held in Lagos.
Each of the gold medallists received a cheque for N150,000, N100,000; silver medalist got while each bronze medallist got a cheque for N75,000. The coaches and the teams were also not left out in the largesse.
The state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, while presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries at the International Event Centre (Dome) in Akure, affirmed that his administration’s investment in sports had not been in vain, stressing that government will continue to promote sports development in the best interest of the athletes and the state.
Dr Mimiko noted that his administration’s investment in sports for youth empowerment was a deliberate effort to raise the standard of sporting activities and athletes in the state.
He stressed that irrespective of the current economic downturn, his administration was poised to developing sports and urged the youths to embrace sporting activities for a healthy living and money making.
The governor, who used the medium to solicit support for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 26 governoship election in the state, Mr Eyitayo Jegede SAN, urged them to begin house to house campaign for the PDP standard-bearer.
He added that his investment in sports development in the last seven and half years has not wasted with the results the athletes from the state had been posting in national and international competitions.
He said the delay in honoring the athletes was not a contempt but as a result of the competition for the little available resources in the state, adding that the sacrifices of the awardees and youths of Ondo State will lead to greater commitment of his administration to sports development.
In his address, the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Dayo Awude thanked the governor for honoring the awardees and used the avenue to declare that all the sports lovers in the state will go anywhere the governor goes in the November governorship election in Ondo State.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of the Ondo State Sports Council, Comrade Olugbenga Jegede said for Governor Mimiko to have made the occasion come to reality despite the lean financial resources in Ondo State and Nigeria in general was a demonstration of his love for sports development in the State.