The Director of sports in Bayelsa State, Sir Braveman Wodi, has said the maiden edition of the National Para-Sports Festival in Abuja will produce another opportunity for the para team to write the state’s name in gold.
The maiden edition of the National Para-Sports Festival is expected to commence on April 9-15 in Abuja.
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Wodi in an interview with newsmen in Yenagoa, said the state was prepared for the showpiece having finished third last year in the 20th National Sports Festival in Benin City, Edo State.
He explained that team Bayelsa would participate in 13 sports out of the fifteen approved by the organizers of the Para-Sports Festival.
The director said with the level of preparation and commitment shown by the athletes since the announcement of the fiesta by the sports minister, the state is sure of podium appearances.
He commended the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, for introducing the Para-Sports Festival, despite not being captured in the 2022 budget, saying that the initiative would give the special athletes a sense of belonging in society.
The former Bayelsa United chairman also noted that Para-sports have produced the highest number of medals in the Paralympics for the country since Nigeria started participating in the games, adding that Para-sports has positively portrayed Nigeria’s image at the world stage.
15 para-sports namely para-Powerlifting, para-athletics, para-table tennis, deaf sports, para-Soccer will feature at the games.
Others are wheelchair tennis, para-badminton, para-canoe, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, amputee football, para-swimming, para-taekwondo, and para-shooting.