The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) has said it would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders toward ensuring the desired grassroots sports development.
Alhaji Ali Durotoye, a Deputy Director in the ministry made the pledge in Omu-Aran, Irepdun Local Government Area of Kwara.
Durotoye, was speaking at the maiden Mini-Marathon sponsored by Skylarks’ Club of Omu-Aran.
The 10 kilometre mini marathon race attracted no fewer than 120 male and female students’ athletes across schools in the town.
The marathon event kicked off at about 7 am at the Federal Government Girls College’s gate and ended at Bareke junction inside the town.
Durotoye, also a member of the club, said it is only with such collaboration that the dwindling fortune of sporting and cultural activities at the grassroots could be resuscitated and transformed.
He said the collaboration would also bring about desired private sector participation in the development of sports at the community level.
The Director expressed optimism that next year’s event would attract more officials from the ministry for selection of deserving athletes that would be future country’s representative.
“We are not unaware of the abundance of sporting talents that can enhance the country’s participation in continental global sporting arena from the grassroots.
“It is our believe that only with the organisation of this kind of sporting event that those hidden talents can be identified.
“We in the Ministry of Youth and Sport are eager to key into such collaboration to develop the sector in order to achieve the desired aims and objectives,” he said.
The Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Charles Ibitoye, in a remark, thanked the club members for their foresight and urged them to sustain the tempo.
He said that organizing the mini marathon would assist in promoting the desired unity and promote youth development in the community.
Chief Peter Oyinloye, the President of Omu-Aran Development Association (ODA) said the club’s gesture had further rekindled the hope of transforming the youth for self reliance.
Agboola Abeeb, of Government Secondary School, Omu-Aran won the male first position with a time of 44 min.15sec. While Adefila Taiye of Omu-Aran High School won the female first position at 55mins.10sec.
The first positions in the male and female categories were awarded with scholarship worth N30,000 each while all of them in both categories were also presented with certificates at the event.