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National Youth Games – Fulfilling Mandate For Talent Discovery

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The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare, has hailed the annual National Youth Games, for creating a pool of talented athletes that would continuously represent the country at International competitions. To buttress this assertion, the Honourable Minister said ” The National Youth Games has been consolidating on it’s gains as evident in the performances of several Athletes discovered at previous editions of the Games in International sports arenas.”

Mr Dare, ably represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, gave this commendation recently, at the closing ceremony of the 5th edition of the National Youth Games, held at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

The Honourable Minister seized the opportunity to state that talents discovered at previous editions of the Games had indeed made Nigeria proud in the comity of great sporting Nations, citing an instance of over 30 athletes discovered at the National Youth Games, who represented and won laurels for the Country in Athletics, badminton, Canoe/Kayak, weightlifting, Wrestling, Cycling,Judo and Taekawondo, at the last African Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria in 2018.

Other notable recorded achievements, according to the Hon. Minister, include medals won by starlets at the Youth Olympic Games, in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Commonwealth Games in 2018. To this effect, he said the 4 medals won at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October 2018, were won by the athletes discovered at the 2017 edition of the annual Games , namely: Chukwuma Rosemary, Ineh Emmanuel and Akintola Alaba Olukunle who won medals in Athletics, while Gbadamosi Adjiat, hit the podium in Boxing.

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While reeling and praising the accomplishments of the National Youth Games ( NYG) as mission fulfilled, Mr Dare enthused that National Sports Federations now look to the NYG as a ranking event, just as the States Sports Councils by same token look forward to the annual Games to gauge their sports developmental objectives.

Furthermore, he seized the opportunity to restate and emphasize the importance of contributions of the University of Ilorin to the Games success stories, adding, it is a partnership that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development cherished for future fruitful relationships.

Mr Dare equally acknowledged the States who presented athletes for these Games, stressing that it is another valuable example of partnership and synergy that assisted the Ministry to provide a pool and reservoir of talented athletes that would represent the country at International competitions.

In his address, the Honourable Minister stated that the commitment of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to grassroot sports development is clearly evident in the planning, execution and delivery of this year’s 5th edition of NYG.

He said ” it is a return to the cradle of Nigeria’s sport glory. By this same token, the Ministry is committed to resuscitate the moribund schools sports at both the Primary and Secondary levels in order to open space for greater grassroots participation in sports and the discovery of talents ”.

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Speaking on measures that would be adopted for eliminating age cheating in future editions, the Honourable Minister said that the Ministry would partner with the Nigerian Immigration Service and the National Identity Commission in the evaluation of the ages of athletes.

In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji AbdulRaman AbdulRazak praised the vision and objectives setting up the National Youth Games, adding that the increasing number of participants from States on yearly basis at the Games is a positive affirmation of it’s mandate of discovering talents for sports development in the country. He said Kwara welcomes everyone and as well, wished all participants and Officials safe travel home to their destinations.

Statistics available indicated that this year’s edition of the Games witnessed an increase in the number of sports from 33 to 34. Similarly, there was an increase in the number of athletes registered which stood at 3,893 from 33 States as against 2,973 athletes from 32 States in the 2018 edition of the Games, an increase of 920 athletes or 31%. Delta State led the Medals Table with 41 Gold, 32 Silver and 31Bronze,and Lagos came second with 22 Gold, 36 Silver and 14 Bronze while Bayelsa recorded 17 Gold, 6 Silver and 22 Bronze to clinch 3rd position.

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It was a colourfully uniting and relationship creation avenue for our young Nigerians from the North to the South and from the East to the West that history alone will record in years to come.

 

Ramon Balogun
Asst. Direct. (Information)
For: Director, Press

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3SC, Crown FC are coming back stronger – Oyo sports commissioner assures

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Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Seun Fakorede on Tuesday reassured football fans in the  state that the Shooting Stars Sporting Club popularly known as 3SC, and Crown FC of Ogbomoso are coming back stronger.

The Commissioner also added that he was sure that the clubs will perform excellently well and secure promotion back to the elite stage in the Nigerian football league.

Fakorede who gave the assurance in Ibadan, the state capital while featuring on Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio also  informed that Governor Seyi Makinde   has allocated a total sum of about five and a half billion naira which he regarded as a modest cost for the remodeling of the popular Lekan Salami Stadium Adamasingba, Ibadan, to meet international standards while promising to give facelifts to all other sections in the stadium.

He maintained that the present administration is committed to improving the economic infrastructure of the state and eradicate unemployment among youths in the State.

According to him, the governor  is working tirelessly to revamp all the sectors of the state as he  has given the approval of 500 million naira as a starter fund for youths’ empowerment in the state while engaging about 5000 youths to be employed by the state’s teaching service commission.

He also appealed for patience from Oyo youths on the issue of the dilapidated structures at the Ososami youth center.

“We are actually rehabilitating; we can’t possibly do everything at once. We have decided to put them in phases and fortunately, Ososami youth center is part of the project to enjoy the first phase of renovation”, he said.

Fakorede further assured that concerted efforts are being put in place by the various concerned ministries to see that youths and children roaming the street are catered for, while emphasizing that a lot of work still should be done to arrest the ugly situation of children roaming the streets.

The Commissioner, however charged Oyo youths not to be intimidated by any obstacle that might confront them as it is a “stepping stone to greatness”.

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Maradona to remain in hospital for treatment after surgery, says Doctor

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Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona is to remain in hospital for several more days to undergo treatment following surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain, his doctor said Thursday.

“We saw that in the postoperative phase Diego had episodes of confusion,” Leopoldo Luque told reporters.

Therapists treating Maradona had linked the behaviour to withdrawal symptoms and the necessary treatment would last “a few days,” he said.

Luque did not provide details, but Maradona has a long history of drug and alcohol addiction.

Although he has publicly said he no longer uses cocaine, friends and media reports have suggested he remains addicted to alcohol.

At a press conference outside the private clinic in Buenos Aires where surgeons spent 80 minutes removing the clot on Tuesday night, Luque took pains to present an upbeat assessment of the 60-year-old’s overall condition.

“Diego is doing well. The CT scan came out well. We were even dancing. Yes, we danced!” the doctor said.

The doctor said Maradona “agrees” with the diagnosis and would remain in the clinic.

Earlier Thursday, he said doctors were happy with the former player’s condition: “He can walk, talk to me….It’s very early this, but the recovery is excellent.”

World Cup winner Maradona had been taken to hospital in La Plata — where he is the coach of top-flight side Gimnasia y Esgrima — on Monday for a series of tests after feeling unwell.

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A scan revealed the blood clot, and on Tuesday he was transferred to the clinic in a northern neighborhood of the capital.

Fans have flocked to the clinic to leave banners showing the star in his prime and messages of support for the ailing icon.

Alongside Brazil’s Pele, who turned 80 last month, Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

– ‘Depressed’ –
Maradona, who turned 60 on Friday, has suffered ill health before. He has survived two heart attacks, and also contracted hepatitis and underwent gastric bypass surgery.

Prior to falling ill, Maradona had been depressed, his lawyer Matias Morla said on Wednesday.

The famously fast-living icon had only been able to spend half an hour at his own birthday celebration at his team’s training ground on Friday, when he had difficulty walking.

“He was behaving strangely. He was very depressed and spoke about dead relatives that he missed,” said Morla.

He said Maradona was “very worried” about the surgery and praised Luque, adding that “if he hadn’t detected the clot, Maradona’s fate would have been different.”

Luque insisted on Tuesday that the procedure was “a routine operation.”

 

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Argentine football idol, Maradona to undergo brain surgery

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Argentine football great Diego Maradona will undergo brain surgery for a blood clot in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, his personal doctor said.

“I will operate on him. It’s a routine operation, he’s lucid,” said Leopoldo Luque.

World Cup winner Maradona, 60, was taken to hospital on Monday for a series of tests after feeling unwell.

A scan revealed the blood clot, which Argentine media are speculating was the result of a blow to the head.

Earlier in the day, Luque claimed Maradona was feeling “much better and eager to leave” hospital but insisted that the Gimnasia Y Esgrima coach was suffering from anemia — a lack of iron in his system — and dehydration.

Luque said it has left him feeling “very weak, very tired.” After further tests, he was diagnosed with a blood clot.

He is due to be transferred from a hospital in La Plata, 60 kilometers south of Buenos Aires, to a specialist clinic in the capital.

Luque had earlier suggested Maradona’s lifestyle had contributed to his condition.

“He’s an elderly patient with many pressures in his life. It’s a time when we must help him. It’s very difficult to be Maradona,” Luque said of the star, who celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday.

The doctor ruled out any link to the coronavirus pandemic, which is ravaging the South American country, much of it still under confinement.

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Maradona, who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse and poor health, is considered at high risk of coronavirus complications should he be infected.

Last week he began self-isolation for the second time after a bodyguard displayed coronavirus symptoms, though he later tested negative.

He joined his players briefly at the club’s training ground on his birthday but had obvious difficulty walking and had to be helped away by his assistants after staying only 30 minutes.

“It breaks my heart to see him like this,” one of his daughters, Giannina, tweeted the next day.

He has suffered two heart attacks in the past and contracted hepatitis.

He has difficulty retaining iron due to a gastric bypass surgery he underwent in 2005 to lose 50 kilograms, leaving him prone to anemia, Luque said.

Though he has recovered from a well-documented addiction to hard drugs, Maradona takes medication in the form of tranquilizers and anxiolytics.

“With a patient on medication, there are times when hospitalization serves to adjust that medication. That’s good,” said Luque.

Gimnasia fans flocked to the La Plata clinic to leave messages of support for the ailing icon.

“What he needs most is the support of the people,” Luque said.

Alongside Brazil’s Pele, who turned 80 last month, Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

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AFP

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