By Amaechi Agbo
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello, will today reward athletes and officials of the FCT contingents who represented the nation’s capital in the 3rd edition of National Youth Games, NYG, held in the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, last year.
The contingent which won a total of 14 medals will be honoured by the sports loving minister in an award night organized to reward and encourage the athletes for their hard work and successes they recorded during the games despite daunting challenges.
It will be recalled that FCT was represented by a contingent of 82 athletes, officials and medical team to the National Youths Games.
The team however, participated in nine of the 12 official events including: Athletics, Badminton, Chess, Karate, Table Tennis, Tennis, Taekwondo, Cricket and Wrestling.
FCT Contingent returned to Abuja proud with 14 medals comprising four gold, three silver and seven bronze medals and their athletes were adjudged youngest team of Games with many athletes within the range of eight and 12 years old.
Giving explanation on the forthcoming reception, Director, FCT Sports Council, Chief (Mrs) Dilichukwu Onyedinma, hinted that the current administration which is placing much emphasis on youth and sports development as part of human capacity building.
She however recalled with nostalgia how team FCT after participating in few sporting event were those that finished on top.
Speaking to journalist ahead of today’s award night, the Director, FCT Sports Council, Chief (Mrs) Dilichukwu Onyedinma, hinted that the current administration is placing much emphasis on youth and sports development as part of human capacity building.
“The journey was not easy, we trained hard and tried as much as possible to bring Under17 athletes that were needed for the games.
“When we went there, even though our contingents were seen as the youngest, the athletes were able to do us proud. We were able to come back with laurels; we had fourteen (14) medals. In addition to that, five of our girls won scholarship.
It was a very good achievement and we had the youngest players especially in Chess and gymnastics and as young as they were, they were able to win medals.
Immediately they came back, our Minister who is youth friendly and always loves sports, was happy with what we achieved with the kids and today has graciously approved that these children should be rewarded and encouraged.
“We are grateful to the minister for this feat. On Thursday, 22nd March, the award night will take place at the Executive Hall of the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
“The Minister, Permanent secretary and everybody is working assiduously towards the success of the award night so that many other children who are doing things that are not supposed to be part of their growing up should stay out of it and find a way to engage in one sport of the other to make themselves better human beings,” she said.