The Niger state government is set to revive sporting activities in the state through the organization of the 2020 All Schools Sports Festival. The effort is to encourage the discovery and further development of budding talents among school children across the state with less emphasis on football which has continued to dominate other sports.
Speaking during a press conference in Minna, Commissioner for Education, Hajia Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, said the desire was to fish out the hidden talents, catch them young, nurture them to be professionals at the national and international stages.
“Students of different secondary schools and pupils from primary schools in the state will be competing in different events to make the students and pupils physically and mentally fit which will also go a long way in curbing youth restiveness in the state.
“Some of the events that would feature in the festival are; athletics, teakwondo, judo, badminton, table tennis, football, volleyball and handball,” she said.
The Commissioner added that 1,715 athletes across the state are expected to compete in the sports festival which is slated for next month.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for sports, Mr Emmanuel Umaru, noted that the state governor is so much interested in school sports festival and happy to be part of the initiative. Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of Niger state Universal Basic Education Board, Mallam Isah Adamu,charged media to promote home grown talents saying the festival will bring back the good old memory of Niger state when it was among the leading states in sports in the country.