Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has directed the State Ministry of Sports to intensify the grooming of athletes through the hosting of key sports events in the State.
This is as the All Africa Senior Badminton Championships ended in Port Harcourt amid Pomp and Ceremony at the prestigious Diete Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the All Africa Senior Badminton Championships in Port Harcourt on Sunday, Governor Wike said beyond the participation of the youths as observers during the continental tournament, they should be engaged all-year round.
He said: “I encourage our sports administrators to promote Badminton and other sports by grooming youths as athletes.
“School competitions should be organised annually to sharpen the skills of the athletes. Engage the youths in meaningful sports activities “.
He commended the Badminton Confederation Africa for choosing Rivers State to host the continental event.
The Governor also praised the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung for allowing the games to hold in the state, saying that his non-discriminatory posture should be emulated by other Ministers.
He announced that the Real Madrid Football Academy will be commissioned in May with sporting and academic activities kick-started.
Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung commended Governor Wike for his commitment to the development of sports.
He called for increased investment in sports , saying that sports will be the next big wealth generation platform to lift people from poverty.
President, Badminton Confederation Africa (BCA), Mr Tukebana Bau officially presented the BCA Prestigious Award to Governor Wike for his contributions to the development of sports on the continent.
Also, the President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Mr Francis Orbih officially enthroned Governor Wike as the Patron of the Federation.