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By: Ade Adeleke
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State yesterday urged the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) to continue to give adequate coverage to athletes in the state, promising more funding of the sports sector in the state.
Akeredolu gave the advice in Akure during a courtesy visit by executive members of SWAN, Ondo State chapter.
He explained that the athletes in the state deserved all accolades for their outstanding performances at national and international events even with little support from the state government.
The governor further expressed optimism that the revenue of the state would improve, which would in turn, increase the level of support given to the sportsmen.
“We appreciate everything SWAN is doing in sports for Ondo State. We are very proud of them.
“I want you to continue your support for the athletes. Give them enough publicity, project them well. We are ready to work with you at all times,” he said.
The governor said the state government would improve in the area of better welfare packages for the athletes as the state finances improved.
Akeredolu said the Tennis Club is a project that the First Lady takes very seriously and which has produced many champions amongst the young ones.
Earlier, the Chairman of SWAN in the state, Mr Wahab Bankole, observed that the state sports had greatly improved since the inception of the Akeredolu-led administration.
According to Bankole, reasonable numbers of state athletes are currently representing the national team at various capacities such as volleyball, hockey, wrestling, tennis, football, and others.
The Association particularly commended the efforts of the Akeredolu administration in the areas of volleyball, hockey, table tennis, long tennis, football and the overall development of sporting activities in the state.
Bankole, said the interventions of the Governor have made it possible for the state’s athletes and players to record string of successes in various sporting activities in and outside the country.
The Chairman particularly commended the Tennis club of First Lady, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, describing it as a lofty idea.
The Association, during the visit, presented a compendium of the sporting activities of the governor since his assumption of office as a souvenir.
The association also invited the governor for an upcoming SWAN Retreats and Award Night slated for March 5, where an award of Life Patron would be conferred on him for his positive disposition towards sports in the state.