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Edo 2020: Marriage of Sports and Culture as Host State Battles Neighbour over Top Spot

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•Delta, Edo renew rivalry of supremacy

Jude Johnson

Edo state is renowned for her rich culture and sports pedigree which had resulted in the discovery of superstars in sports, arts, culture and music, according to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare.

The host state lived up to her reputation during the opening ceremony of the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival with a blend of cultural performances at the opening ceremony on Tuesday 6th April 2021. The rich cultural heritage of Edo and all the states of the Federation came alive with dances, music and cultural displays which symbolize unity in diversity.

The rich culture and sports record was captured by the Minister who represented the President with a message that sports can unify and be used as a capsule for Youth empowerment, creating jobs and arresting drifting from the tenets of grassroots sports Development.

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki echoed the fact that sports had come back to its roots with the assertion: Sport is back home.

According to the Sports Minister Dare, in pursuit of unity and development of Nigerian youth, the National sports festival #NSF2020 offers a unique opportunity to explore Sports development beyond more than a game.

In the words of the Minister: “Nigerians will have the opportunity to see some of our best young talents compete in 32 sports events amongst 36 states plus the FCT.”

“You have seen the performance this evening and for the next twelve days we will see our young talents compete. We hope that from this competition and Festival, we can find some stars that will eventually represent this country.”

“I just want to say that Sports is a uniter, Sports promotes peace and employs millions of our youth.”

While affirming President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sports development, the Minister reiterated: “Like the president promised, he will continue to support sports development so that our youth can be engaged productively ans to have a career in sports.”

The Minister further said “This Festival sign posts the future when athletes discovered here would be able to compete with the best in the world. I look forward to this Festival producing notable superstars like we have had in the past. It is also a unique opportunity to invest in our sports infrastructure to create the right mix.”

This is as the old rivalry between Edo and Delta state is being rekindled at the ongoing Edo 2020 National sports Festival as the two teams are locked in a battle Royale for supremacy on the Medals table.

Delta who are the defending champions and currently topping the medals table will have to contend with host Edo for the top spot.

Right from day one of the games, Delta has left no one in doubt about their determination to retain the title. Team Delta has 30 medals with 12 gold, while Edo are on 31 medals with 10 Gold medals.

Team Delta have been promised One Million Naira for each Gold medal to spur them to podium performance.

Team FCT, Zamfara and Taraba are yet to get a single medal.

Bendel was a single state before Edo and Delta were carved out , now the rivalry is going to get intense as they lock up horns in medals battle.

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