Sports Festival ends as Team Delta reclaim title

Delta State athletes celebrating their victory at the 2012 National Sports Festival, Eko 2012, during the closing ceremony at the Teslim Balogun stadium, Lagos … Sunday. | credits: Segun Bakare
The 2012 edition of the National Sports Festival ended on Sunday with Delta State leading the table as President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by the Vice President Namadi Sambo on the opening day, was absent. He was represented yesterday by Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi.

Delta State won 116 gold, 97 silver and 75 bronze medals to beat last edition hosts and champions Rivers State, which finished in the second place with 76 gold, 71 silver and 71 bronze medals.

Hosts Lagos finished in the third place with 65 gold, 47 silver and 71 bronze medals while Edo State finished in the fourth position.

Victory will come as a relief for The Team Delta as they battled back to the top after losing their title to Rivers in 2011. It was also a result that confirmed their dominance of grassroots sports in Nigeria, moving them to a fifth title at the event.

For their effort, the state went home with N20m and a giant trophy which was presented by the Sports Minister, Rivers won N15m in prize money and a trophy presented by Kogi State Governor Idris Wada while the Team Lagos were rewarded with N10m prize money from the Federal Government and a trophy that was presented by Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who received the trophy from the state captain, had earlier commended the effort of the state athletes especially the physically challenged athletes for winning the 2012 edition during a church service at the Church of God in Gbagada Lagos.

Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola said the state’s third place finish was a giant leap from the three earlier editions, adding that the state was able to raise the bar in the games hosting. The state finished 7th in Port Harcourt 2011 and 9th in Kaduna 2009.

He said, “Lagos has been able to deliver a successful competition as we were the first to host without asking for a shift in the opening date.

“The opening ceremony demonstrated the state culture and I congratulate all the participants.”

The governor said all the facilities put in place for the games would be adequately put to use as there were plans to hold regular competitions.

Speaking on the standard of the competition and plans for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Sports Minister said facilities used during the festival brought out the best from the athletes.

He said, “I commend Lagos governor and the people of the state for providing the facilities and there is no doubt that this will help prepare for the next Olympics. I call on the corporate bodies sitting on the fence to join in transforming sport to bring glory to Nigeria.”

The games flag was later handed over by Fashola to the 2014 host, Cross River State. The state sport commissioner, Patrick Ugbe said it was only befitting that the game was going to a city that symbolises the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1804.

He said, “Hosting the game in Calabar is a befitting way of celebrating 100 years of Nigeria’s amalgamation and Calabar will be honoured, being the first seat of government at the time,” he said, adding that the next game has been christened Paradise Game.

Popular artiste like Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal, Whizkid, Seun Kuti and Tu Face entertained crowd during the ceremony.

Show More


Nigerian Reviews brings you the News, Reviews, Entertainment, Styles, Stories and Events across Nigeria and Africa with detailed and insightful information on all events, happening around you. Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.

Related Articles