The athletes who made the State proud in Asaba won 70 medals, comprising 15 gold, 18 silver, and 37 bronze medals.
Abiodun who announced the cash prize at the Oba’s Complex during a reception in honour of the athletes, also said that his administration would also reward all those who did not win any medal with the sum of N100,000 naira each.
“I am going to appreciate all of you that went to Asaba in Delta State, I was watching the medals and your performances and I was so sure you were going to become number two.
I don’t know how you went from number two to number eight, when I asked and they said you are number eight, my heart sank.
But you know what, you know the spirit of these games is not only in winning, it so the Olympic spirit which is in taking part. ” You’ve done us proud, but I am sure you will do better when we host that festival.
To that end, I am going to be supporting and encouraging all our gold medalists with a sum of N1m each, all our eighteen silver medalists will get N500,000 each, while our thirty-seven bronze medalists will go home with N250,000 each.
” All those that went and didn’t win a medal, we will also appreciate you. To encourage you, we will give every one of you one hundred thousand naira,” he said.
Abiodun while commending the athletes for doing the State proud at the festival, also noted that his administration would also be rewarding the coaches who were responsible for their success at the sports festival.
“You have demonstrated your love, passion, commitment, and your high level of responsibility in all the games you participated in, and you have flown the Ogun colours very well.
“Our coaches will not be left out, the coaches that are looking after you, we will also look after them as well so they can be further motivated and inspired to continue to work as hard as they’ve done that have allowed you to win all these medals,” the Governor stated
While noting that the performance of the athletes would further motivate him to support them, Abiodun promised that the next National Sports Festival to be hosted by the State would be a reference point for future sports festivals.
” I want to assure all our participants, all our young men, and women that are athletes that the next sports festival in 2024 will be a reference sports festival for many years to come.
When we do things in Ogun State, we don’t like to come second, we have what we call Ogun Standard and they will see a sports festival they’ve never seen before, we will ensure that all the locations, equipment are world-class,” he said.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Youths and Sport, Dr Oluwadare Kehinde, while acknowledging the support of the Governor towards the development of sports in the State, noted that the support towards the development of sports was the major reason why the State won the right to host the 22nd edition of the National Sports Festival.
In their various remarks, the duo of Kemi Oyebola and Sunkanmi Adewale, while calling for more support and a better reward system for athletes in the State, called for early camping exercise towards the 22nd edition of the National Sports Festival to be hosted by the State.
The General Manager of the Ogun State Sports Council, Iyabode Rotimi, who commended Governor Abiodun for supporting the development of sports in the State, urged him to look at the likelihood of giving some of their athletes who do not staff temporary appointments or stipends to motivate them and stop them from being usurped by other States.