The Kwara State Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi, has charged Kwara athletes on the need to use sports as a panacea to address poverty.
He made this call while playing host to the President of Handball Federation of Nigeria, Mr. Ocheho Samuel in his office, on Wednesday.
Addressing the athletes, Alabi appreciated them for winning Gold medal at the just concluded U-21 tournament held in Lagos, pledging the readiness of his government towards developing the game in the state.
According to him, ‘sports across the globe has envolved and it’s one of the surest ways to tackle poverty’.
“I want to charge you to strive hard in your sporting carrier as you can become a global star through sports.”
Sharing his experience as a handballer, the deputy governor stressed that he was a determined and goal-getter athlete in his playing days adding that he had many laurels to his credit.
Earlier, the President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria had lauded the deputy governor’s passion for sports, particularly handball.
According to Ocheho, “the Handball Federation of Nigeria is proud of Kwara State owing to the sterling performance of Kwara U-21 Handball athletes in the just concluded tournament. It shows Kwara has begun to dominate Handball game in Nigeria,” he said.
“Kwara is the hub of Handball in Nigeria and Handball Federation of Nigeria will form a synergy with Kwara State toward hosting next handball championship.”
Continuing, ‘we will do all we can at the federal level to promote the sport in Kwara. There are bright stars in Kwara, I ask for your supports.’
Also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, Alh. Akanbi Oke, commended the Ochono for paying the state, visit.
“I thank you for coming to Kwara despite your tight schedule. It shows you have us at heart.
“We ‘ll not disappoint you. We pledge to have a synergy with the HFN to ensure that the game strives in the state.
“We are doing our best to make our Indoor Hall an international standard. It’s one of the properties of the state government. Before the end of this month, work will start on the indoor”, Oke said.
In the same vein, the Director of sport, Kwara State Sport council, Coach Tunde Kazeem while welcoming Ocheno to the state said Kwara State remain the pacesetter in Handball.
He added that Kwara is the home of Handball in Nigeria as the state has produced players of international reputes.
“We belives in grassroots development. About 90 percent of players we harvested are from the Pakata secondary school.”
Kazeem said Kwara athletes are doing well in their various age-group tournaments.