Para Games: Bayelsa Sports Commissioner, Igali Hails State’s Athletes For Emerging Champions

Bayelsa State Commissioner for Sports Development, Hon. Daniel Igali has applauded the performance of Bayelsa athletes at the just concluded 2nd National edition of the PARA Games held in Abuja noting that it was an impressive outing.

At the PARA Games held between December 8 to 14, 2023, Team Bayelsa emerged as the champions of the 2nd National Para Games after eight days of competition across the different centers to win the Nigerian version of the Paralympics Games.

According to Igali, the state dominated the medal table emerging as the National champion due to massive investment of the state government in the sports sector, adding that Governor Douye Diri is committed to harnessing the potentials of Bayelsa youths in sports.

After the week-long sporting festival at Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, Bayelsa grabbed an impressive tally of 74 medals, including 30 Gold, 24 Silver, and 20 Bronze.

The National Para Games seeks to foster inclusivity and excellence of para-sports in Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja on Friday, Hon. Igali while congratulating the state’s contingent for the laudable feat noted that it is a product of the reward and motivation system which the state has put in place in appreciation of its sportsmen and women.

He said, “His Excellency the governor takes pride in ensuring that our athletes are prepared very well for competitions. Our athletes are probably the best motivated athletes in the country, and because of his Excellency’s passion for rewarding higher achievements, which is almost instantaneous, the athletes understand that if they go to a competition and they do well, they will be very highly rewarded.

“They give probably more than 100% when they compete for Bayelsa and that is because they also know that if they get injured in the process of competing for the state, the government will do whatever is necessary to put them back in their proper shape, including flying them out of the country for surgeries”, he stated.

While also commending the Deputy Governor of the state, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo whom he said plays a vital role in planning sports in the state, the Commissioner said the monthly recognition of outstanding coaches, athletes and administrators is another magic wand that has revitalised sports in the state.

According to him, both football, boxing, wrestling and other coaches compete monthly on who emerges coach of the month, a healthy competition he said has assisted Bayelsa in maintaining a lead position in sports.

However, Hon. Igali reiterated the readiness of the government to continue giving youths of Bayelsa a robust sporting career through the reward system being put in place to keep them motivated.