Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has announced a reward package for athletes that represented the state at the 2022 National Sports Festival held at Asaba, Delta State.
Bayelsa placed a historic second behind Delta, surpassing its earlier best position of third recorded at the 2020 festival hosted by Edo State in 2022.
Governor Diri, who received the state’s contingent on Wednesday inside the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House, Yenagoa, recalled that Bayelsa won 109 gold, 104 silver and 87 bronze medals.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor announced N1 million each to individual gold medallists and N750, 000 each for team gold.
He also rewarded individual silver medallists with N500, 000 and N300, 000 went to team silver medallists, while individual bronze medallists got N300, 000 and N150, 000 for each team bronze medallist.
Coaches and secretaries of gold medal teams got N500, 000 each, while their assistants got N300, 000 each. Those in silver category got N300, 000 each and their assistants N200, 000.
The governor also rewarded non-medallists with N50, 000 each.
He also announced automatic employment for those yet to be employed in the state sports council and directed the Ministry of Youth and Sports to work out the modalities.
“You have broken your own record and now Bayelsa is the number two sporting state in Nigeria. Your record and the state’s exploits in football and other sporting activities have resulted in my being nominated as the Best Sports Governor in Nigeria. That award will be dedicated to all of you. Let us continue to raise the image of the state like you did in Asaba,” he said.
Earlier, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Daniel Igali, said the state was the only one that rewarded its athletes instantly at the games, which inspired them to exceed their target.
While thanking the governor for approving funds for the contingent, Igali said the team broke six records in swimming in the men and women categories, as well as in weightlifting.
He stressed that as one of the premier sporting states in the country, there was need to upgrade its sporting facilities to be able to host the National Sports Festival in no distant time.