A six man committee has been put in place by the Edo State Government to prepare a road map for a successful outing of Team Edo during the forthcoming 20th National Sports Festival. The sports fiesta tagged Edo 2020 is scheduled to hold in different centers in the ancient city of Benin City, Edo State from March 20 to April 4, 2020.
Edo State Deputy Governor and Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Edo 2020, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu charged the committee headed by Godwin Dudu-Orume , Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission to immediately put machinery in motion towards hosting the 3rd Edo State Sports Festival where a strong and formidable team will be put in place to represent the state during the National sports fiesta.
According to the Deputy Governor, ” We must not fail, we are committing all these resources because we want to redefine national competitive sports in Nigeria. We are not just hosting, we are hosting to win and win clean and show the world what national sports festival should be.”
He said the 3rd Edo State Sports Festival is not going to be a jamboree, rather, it is expected to serve as ground for talent hunt to discover young and fresh athletes to replace the tired and ageing ones. He further emphasised that ” no automatic ticket for anybody. Every athlete, old or young has to compete for a place in the 32 sports lined up for the festival”.
In all, 32 sports including football and traditional sports will be competed for during the festival, starting from the 18 local government in the state to the zonal elimination in the three senatorial zones and finally to the state where the final athletes to represent the state will be selected in keenly cpmpetitive games. Main venue is the University of Benin Sports Complex aside other centers.
Towards this end, the committee hit the ground running, meeting all through the weekend, brain storming. The unity torch for the games is expected to start its movement in Igarra, capital of Akoko Edo this Wednesday, January 15, from there to other local government areas of the state and terminate its journey in the metropolitan Oredo Local Government on Monday, January 20, 2020. The 18 local government chairmen are expected to receive the unity torch in their respective domain during the six days tour.
The competition at the local government levels is expected to run for six days, January 23 through January 28, 2020. The zonal elimination ( in the three senatorial zones) is from Saturday, February 1 to Tuesday, February 4th. Qualifiers from the zones are expected to arrive Benin on Monday, February 10 for the main festival and final selection. This is expected to run till Sunday, February 16, 2020 when the festival is expected to be declared closed by His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki.
For a memorable sports fiesta, the committee has invited notable cultural troupes from the three senatorial zones of the state to entertain guests, athletes and officials during the opening and closing ceremonies. The police band has been invited too to entertain. ” Security of guests, athletes and officials is guaranteed”; the committee chairman, Godwin Dudu-Orume assured.