• Swimmer pockets N8.8 million
Delta State athletes and coaches, yesterday, smiled to the bank, as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa fulfilled his promise of cash rewards to medalists at the 2020 National Sports Festival held in Edo State.
Team Delta won a total of 163 gold, 115 silver and 112 bronze medals to top the medals’ table at the end of the festival in Benin City.
Governor Okowa gave the sum of N1 million to each gold medalist, N500, 000 for silver and N350, 000 for bronze winners.
One of the athletes, a female swimmer, Timipamere Akuayefa, got the highest cash reward of N8. 800 million. She was one of the most decorated athletes at Edo 2020 Sports Festival, winning six individual gold, two gold in team events, two silver and one individual bronze medal.
The Guardian learnt yesterday that a brief presentation of cheques to the medalists was performed by the Secretary to Delta State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah, at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, where he charged the athletes to continue to be good ambassadors of the state.
Delta is preparing to host the 21st National Sports Festival from November 2 to 15, 2022.
Ukah, a former hockey player, is the chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for Asaba 2022. He said the disbursement was in fulfillment of the promise made by Governor Okowa to the athletes before their departure to Edo National Sports Festival.
The SSG stated that the gesture would spur the athletes to do more when hostilities begin in Asaba 2022, just as he prayed to God to give them the wisdom, strength, obedience and commitment to continue to win medals for the state.
Chairman of Delta Sports Commission, Chief Tonobok Okowa, disclosed that the transfer of the cash to the athletes and their coaches would be completed today. The coaches were rewarded with N500, 000 for each gold medal won at the festival in Edo.
Some of the athletes, who spoke with The Guardian on phone, thanked Governor Okowa for fulfilling his gesture at this ‘festive period,’ saying the athletes would do everything possible to put up better performance at Asaba 2022 National Sports Festival.