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Athletes from different parts of the country will begin to arrive Asaba, Delta State capital from today ahead of Wednesday’s opening ceremony of the 21st National Sports festival.
Delta won the bid to host the fiesta, which is Nigeria’s version of the Olympics Games at the end of the last edition held in Benin City, Edo State last year.
Since then, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who is the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, had put several structures in place to actualise his dream of delivering the best-ever Games in the history of Nigerian sports.
Among the facilities built to host the Delta 2022 Games are two brand new indoor sports hall, a new swimming pool, new tartan track, new shooting range all within the Stephen Keshi Stadium as well as a new hockey pitch at Okpanam.
Governor Okowa also constructed new hostel facilities at the NYSC Camp at Issele-Uku and in various schools within Asaba.
A total of 11, 000 athletes are expected to participate in Delta 2022 National Sports festival, which is about 2,000 more than the number that featured at the last edition held in Edo State.
Secretary of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Chris Anazia, confirmed yesterday that today and tomorrow is for the arrival of contingents from various states.
“We are set to receive athletes from the various states on Monday and Tuesday. The opening ceremony will hold on Wednesday. I am sure the athletes, coaches and sports administrators will enjoy their stay in Delta. I wish everyone safe journey to Asaba,” Anazia stated.
Speaking further, Anazia, who is the Director General of Delta State Sports Commission said; “Whenever Delta agrees to do anything, we always go for the best. We are not just going to host a sports festival, but the best ever in the history of the Games.”
Meanwhile, the Festival Torch of Unity, which has been moving round the country, has arrived in Delta State. It will begin a tour around all local government headquarters for chairmen and council officials to have a feel.
According to the Adviser to the LOC, Chief Solomon Ogba, the Festival Torch of Unity will arrive in Asaba on November 30, the day of the opening ceremony.
He said; “The flag hoisting ceremony for Delta 2022 National Sports festival will take place at 4pm on the day of the opening ceremony on November 30.”
The first event for Asaba 2022 will be cycling in the early morning of Wednesday. .
Delta 2022 National Sports festival will end on December 10.