By Desmond Ogudu
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, on Monday stated that Bayelsa will continue to be a centre for sports development in Nigeria.
He made this statement whilst laying the foundation stone of the Modern Wrestling Gym during the 3rd Dickson National Wrestling Classics Bayelsa 2019, held at Samson Siasia Sports Complex , Yenagoa.
Whilst thanking the 26 states that participated in this year’s event, Governor Dickson congratulated all the participants and the officials of the wrestling competition for coming to Bayelsa to grace the occasion.
He said: ” the competition is the state’s annual premier national wrestling event, that has taken place over six years”; noting that this is the 3rd edition of his wrestling competition.
Speaking further, he described all the participants as winners, even though some didn’t truly emerge winners, adding that the beauty of any sport activity is the ability to win and lose. He therefore urged both losers and winners to train more.
He used the medium to announce the special recruitment of 100 young athletes into the Ministry of Sports next month and made Special Scholarship programme for deserving athletes of Bayelsa state into Niger Delta University, Bayelsa Polytechnic, University of Africa and any University of their choice; also calling on those who are outside the state to come back home to use their sporting skills for sports development in Bayelsa State.
On his part, the Commissioner for Sports, Hon.Buruboyefe Perekeyi whilst taking the closing remarks said that the love for sport by the governor of Bayelsa State is the reason the competition is holding in Bayelsa, urging the government not to relent in supporting wrestling and other sports in Bayelsa.
Earlier, Hon. Daniel Igali, Africa’s Olympic Gold Medalist and former Bayelsa State lawmaker, commended Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for organizing the wrestling competition.
In his words: ” Governor Dickson is the only governor that went to the last Commonwealth wrestling competition to support Nigerian wrestlers.”
He said wrestling is the only sport in Nigeria that has consecutively won two gold medals. The gold medalist reminded the governor that in few months time, Morocco will be hosting another wrestling competition and Nigeria will participate.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports, Adesola Olusola while making his remarks said it was a great pleasure for him to be in Bayelsa. He commended the governor of Bayelsa for the enormous support and attention given to sports development in Nigeria.
The high point of the event was the presentation of awards to deserving past and present wrestling heroes and heroines . Also, the winners of the Dickson’s competition were given medals and trophies.