Ogun set to host 2024 National Sport Festival

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Dapo Abiodun

In fulfillment of Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun’s earlier promise, the Ogun State government has officially declared its readiness to host the 2024 National Sports Festival (NSF). A 16-member Local Organizing Committee (LOC) comprising leading figures in Nigeria’s sports sector has been unveiled to oversee the event.

Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development in May, the state government reaffirmed its commitment to organizing a world-class festival. Governor Abiodun expressed confidence in Ogun State’s ability to host a remarkable event and highlighted the presence of capable individuals and sponsors ready to support the bid.

The decision to select Ogun State as the next host of the NSF was influenced by its rich culture of sports development, existing sporting infrastructure, and potential to create a lasting impact. Former Minister of Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, who led the Federal Government delegation, acknowledged the state’s credentials and accepted the proposal.

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Chairing the 16-member LOC is Hon. Bukola Olapade, a former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Ogun State. Joining him as co-chairman is Mr. Tilewa Adebayo, a respected sports enthusiast. Olapade has made significant contributions to Nigerian sports, notably organizing the Access Bank-sponsored Lagos City Marathon, the Abeokuta 10km Marathon race, and the Remo ultra-race.

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The committee also includes Chief (Mrs.) Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo (MON), fondly referred to as the Queen of tracks. Ogunkoya-Omotayo boasts an impressive athletic career, having achieved numerous accolades such as the 1998 World Cup of Athletics Champion, 400 meters grand prix champion, two-time Olympic medalist, and the first Nigerian woman to win an individual Olympic medal while holding the African record in 400 meters to this day.

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Other notable members of the committee include Dr. Emmanuel Igbinosa, Secretary-General of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the NSF Edo 2020; Dr. Kweku Tandoh, an accomplished sports administrator and member of the African Table Tennis Federation; and Professor Oluwaseun Olanrewaju Omotayo, a renowned sports psychologist and head of the Department of Sports and Exercise Medical Sciences at the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

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Completing the committee are Hon. Dare Alebiosu, Vice Chairman of Ijebu Ode Local Government; Mr. Kunle Solaja; Olusegun Oyende; Mr. Olatunji Onatolu; Mrs. Modele Sharafa Yussuf; Demola Are; Abiodun Jubril Elegbede; Ola Opedimeji Adisa, former Commissioner for Youth & Sports; and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth & Sports.

The LOC has been tasked with establishing subcommittees comprising various stakeholders to ensure a seamless and exceptional sports festival, setting a standard unmatched in the country.

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