Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Friday, hosted and rewarded members of the state’s contingent to the 2022 edition of the National Sports Festival tagged Delta 2022.
Oyo News reported that the athletes had done the state proud, coming fourth on the Medals Table after winning 50 gold medals, 51 silver medals and 62 bronze medals, during the Festival.
They were received at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan by Governor Makinde.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that an elated Governor Makinde announced a package of N1 million for each gold medal, N500,000 for a silver medal and N350,000 for a bronze medal as well as N250,000 each for non-medalists.
Governor Makinde said that the gesture was in appreciation of the honour the athletes brought to the state.
He equally announced the gift of dollars to athletes of the state’s extraction, who participated at the Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, United Kingdom between July and August 2022 as well as the African Cycling Track Championship.
Makinde noted that Rofiat Lawal, who won a gold medal in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games, will get $10,000, while silver and bronze medalists, Liadi Taiwo and Osijo Taiwo, will get $7,500 and $5,000 respectively.
Governor Makinde had, during his speech, equally hinted that Oyo State is set to have to world class stadia, as his administration is set to acquire the Obafemi Awolowo Sport Complex, formerly Liberty Stadium, from the Federal Government.
He explained that his administration will continue to invest in sport facilities across the geopolitical zones of the state, so as to help in the hunt and development of talents across the length and breadth of Oyo State.
He said: “Today happens to be the first window that is available to me. Yesterday, I asked the Commissioner for Sports if we can have the get-together today and he did well despite the short notice. He was able to organise everybody.
“So, that tells me that the Youths and Sports family in Oyo State is up to the task, quick and responsive. So, I am not surprised that you are delivering and you will continue to deliver for the state.
“I want to congratulate the medalists. Yes, I set a very high target for last year’s National Sports Festival – 100 Gold medal but we scored 50 per cent, which I can consider a pass mark.
“I want to put it on record that we came first at the National Sports Festival when you put us side by side with all the states in the South-West geopolitical zone, especially Lagos. “So, I am really proud of the team on this achievement.
“Let me also put it on record that we bidded for the hosting of the next festival but unfortunately, we lost to Ogun State. But don’t worry, as that may give us time to even get a bit more grounded and also work on more of our facilities. After Ogun State, we will still bid.
“The last two editions was held in Edo and Delta. They have set the precedence. I am sure we will be successful at that and I will still be the governor at that time.
“I have seen your request on shortage of staff, completion of the remodelling of Lekan Salami Sports Complex. Not only are we going to complete the remodelling but also, I am submitting a letter to the Minister for Youth and Sports to give Oyo State the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium.
“They have given the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu to Enugu State. Last week, they gave the one in Kaduna to Kaduna State. So, it is on that basis that we are also saying they should give us this one, and I believe it will be successful.
“So, that will mean that Oyo State, invariably, will have two word class sports facilities, and we will still continue with our investments across our geopolitical zones to put in facilities that can help us hunt for talents across the length and breadth of Oyo State.
“Please, rest assured that Lekan Salami stadium will be completed on or before the end of this year. The modern equipment you have requested will be procured to aid the performances of our athletes.
“For those athletes who have done us proud, it is apt for us to appreciate and reward them and I will do that. For every Gold medal at the National Sports Festival, you have N1m. For the Silver, there will be a reward of N500,000 and for Bronze medal, there will be a reward of N350,000. And for athletes that participated without a medal, they will get N250,000.
“Also, for our athletes that did us proud at the Commonwealth Games, Rofiat Lawal Folashade, the gold medalist, we will give $10,000. For Liadi Taiwo, second medalist, who won Silver medal will be given $7,500, and $5,000 for Osijo Taiwo who won Bronze Medals
“For the athletes that won medals at the African Cycling Track Championship, for every silver medal, we will give $3,500. For Bronze, we will give $1,500.”
Governor Makinde maintained that the investments and rewards were to encourage youths in the state to become more involved in sporting activities, even as he encouraged the athletes to put in more efforts and bring more glory to the State in their future endeavours.
“So, with all these investments and reward system, we want to encourage a lot of our youths to be involved in sporting activities and we will encourage them,” he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Seun Fakorede, commended the governor for his exemplary motivation and commitment to youth and sports development.
He said the athletes were determined to bring more glory to the state and appealed for the provision of more sporting infrastructure for them.
In her remarks, the team captain, Omotoyosi Osowa, thanked Governor Makinde for keeping to his promise to reward athletes and also for the provision of first class sporting facilities in the state.
She reassured the governor of the support of the athletes in the state for his re-election bid.