By Kehinde Osagiede
The Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission Olympian Yussuf Alli has restated the commitment of his commission and government to the development of sports from the grassroots, reaffirming that Edo is not desperate to win the 2023 National Youth Games.
Alli made his position known on Saturday while responding to questions from newsmen during the opening ceremony of the 2023 National Youth Games at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta state.
The Edo state Sports Commission boss assured that his state’s strong position against poaching of athletes will be maintained, adding that Edo will continue to play by the rules of the game.
He revealed that the athletes were not given any targets in terms of medals to be won as they are in Asaba to compete fairly.
According to Alli, “The state government aims to develop sports through the grassroots.
“I am in Asaba to boost the morale of Edo state athletes, our athletes are not under any pressure but in high spirits to do Edo proud.
“It is youth games and there is no course for alarm and we are not trying to win at all cost. They will do their best and I am sure we will be okay”, he said.
The Edo Sports Commission Chairman, however, expressed his displeasure over the adoption of the facial screening method of some athletes.
Meanwhile, the trio of Team Edo tennis youngsters Azeta Eromosele, Aleoba Emmanuel and Sunday Esther, have qualified for the next round of table tennis events after winning their group’s opening matches respectively.
In the male category, Eromosele outclassed his counterparts from Kwara and Akwa Ibom states in two straight sets, while Aleobua Emmanuel defeated his Ondo counterpart in two straight sets before walking over his Nasarawa opponent to book a place in the next round of the competition.
Faleye Deborah, lost 2-1 to her Enugu opponent while her remaining match was postponed to Sunday morning.
Speaking after their games, Eromosele and Emmanuel in their separate remarks expressed gratitude to the state government for the opportunity given them to participate in the competition.
They promised to approach their next-round matches with more seriousness.