Bayelsa State Governor, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, on Thursday splashed over One hundred and fifty million Naira cash awards to the state’s contingent to the 19th National Sports Festival, in Abuja, from 6th to 16th of December, 2018.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei quoted the Governor as having made the pronouncement, when he received the contingent in Government House, Yenagoa.
The Bayelsa Contingent emerged fifth in the tournament with 32 gold, 56 silver and 49 bronze medals.
Governor Dickson described the performance of Team Bayelsa as remarkable and expressed appreciation to contingent for making the state proud.
He noted that the cash gifts were to underscore and appreciate the athletes for their contributions, sacrifice, determination, hard work as well as to motivate them to do better in future festivals.
The governor announced cash awards of one million Naira each for the thirty-two gold medalists, five hundred thousand Naira each for the fifty-six silver medalists, three hundred thousand Naira each for the fifty Bronze medalists and one hundred and fifty thousand each for those who failed to win any medal.
Others are: N500,000 each for seventy Coaches; N500,000 each for twenty organizing secretaries, N300,000 for the twenty-five support staff while members of the Local Organising Committee got N500,000 each.
In his words: “Today is a very happy day and these are very interesting times to be a Bayelsan because with what you have achieved, in very difficult circumstances, all of us in this state are very proud of your achievement.
“On behalf of the good people of this state, I want to congratulate and appreciate all of you including the victorious athletes, those who did not win, the coaches, support staff, secretaries and also the Commissioner for Sports Development, Mr. Perekiye Buruboyefe, for leading the team.
“Bayelsa is a state of champions, a state of good people, where good things start from. This is to encourage you all and to further demonstrate that we appreciate greatness and excellence. This cash gift is not intended to pay for what you have done. No amount of money can be enough for your sacrifice and commitment and for the glory you have brought to our state but to underscore our appreciation.”
In his remarks, Commissioner for Sports Development, Mr. Perekiye Buruboyefe, who expressed appreciation to Governor Dickson for his support and encouragement, stressed that, the state finished fifth on the overall medals table due to the dogged determination of the athletes to make Bayelsa proud, having participated in twenty-six out of the twenty-eight sporting events.
Mr. Buruboyefe also pointed out that a Bayelsan, Kelly Ebi-Caleb won the first Gold medal of this year’s National Sports Festival after winning the Men’s 200m Cycling event while 6 year-old Deborah Quickpen from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state became the youngest medalist of the festival, winning a Bronze medal in Chess.