Host of the next edition of the National Sports Festival, Edo State, yesterday, in Benin City, unveiled the mascot, five ambassadors and the theme song for the festival.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, who performed the ceremony, said the state government would organise a world-class event that would be a reference point for future hosts, noting, “it is about hosting with the right spirit so that it becomes a festival to look forward to, by other states.”
He said that his administration would use the opportunity of staging the festival to take sports development a notch higher, by building facilities to guarantee a good future for the growth of sports in the state.
“Sports is native to us. We are renewing that nativity,” he noted.
Obaseki lauded the Federal Government for its gesture to allow its sporting facilities in Benin to be used by the state government.
He also applauded the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for its commitment towards the hosting of a successful festival.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, praised the Obaseki-led administration for its commitment to hosting an outstanding festival.
He said the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium being refurbished is 91 percent FIFA standard.
He said that the unveiling of the mascot for the festival would help in marketing the festival to the world for participation, and sponsorship.
Earlier, the Deputy Governor of state, Philip Shaibu, who is also the chairman of the LOC, said the festival would serve as a veritable platform for fostering national unity, promote mutual coexistence and friendship across different cultures.
Shaibu said the LOC was working round the clock to ensure that all aspects of the festival were adequately planned for.