By Muhyideen Jimoh
The 20th edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF) tagged “Edo 2020” will be of international standard in terms of organisation and facility, an official said on Thursday in Abuja.
Mrs Blessing Lere-Adams, Chairman of the Media and Publicity Sub-Committee of the festival’s Main Organising Committee disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
She said the MOC and the Local Organising Committee for the Games have been working round the clock for about a year to put in place a festival in line with international best practice.
“The MOC and the LOC for Edo 2020 has been working together since early last year to ensure a befitting Games.
“With what is on ground presently in Edo, I can assure you, we would have a festival of high international standard,” she said.
Lere-Adams who is also the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development said no fewer than 8,500 athletes are expected to participate at the festival
She said the festival scheduled to hold from March 22 to April 1 would see the athletes competing for about 3,000 medals from 33 sports.
“As you know athletes from the 36 states and the FCT are expected to participate in the festival, and the events will hold in about 22 venues in the ancient city of Edo,” she added.
She said the. Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare had mandated all stakeholders to ensure a world class event in order to further unearth grassroots talent for the national teams.
She therefore called on the media and other stakeholders to support the festival with professional and robust publicity.
NAN reports tha Edo had previously hosted the festival in1981 (as Bendel state) and 2002.
The biennal NSF had been fraught with series of postponements in the recent past as the festival failed to hold after the Lagos 2012 edition, till Abuja came to the rescue in 2018 for the 19th edition.
The 20th edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF) tagged “Edo 2020” will hold from March 22 to April 1 in the newly renovated Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin and some other venues in the state.
NAN reports that the first edition of the NSF was held in 1973 at the National Stadium in Lagos.
The NSF was also meant to serve as a development and training event to aid athletes prepare for continental and international meets, as well as an avenue of showcasing our best talent across various sports.
The 19 edition held in the FCT in 2019 was won by Delta State.
Edo State emerged hosts of the 20th edition at the conclusion of the 19th edition after seeing off competition from Imo, Cross River and Delta States.
The 32 confirmed sports for Edo in 2020 are the most at a Festival since the 37 events featured at the 19th edition in the FCT.
List Of Compulsory Sports For Future National Sports Festivals among others are Athletics, Badminton,Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing,Chess and Cycling.
Others are Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Judo and Karate. (NAN)