The Kwara Government on Wednesday expressed its commitment to sports development in order to discover budding talents in the state.
The Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, said this while receiving the President of Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Mr Samuel Ocheho, in his office in Ilorin.
Alabi noted that such move would enable the youths to realise their potentialities and reduce poverty in the society.
He called on athletes to combine sports with education and strive to become world stars in their chosen sporting endeavours.
The deputy governor advised the seven athletes from the state, who represented the country in handball, to be focused, determined and train hard to excel.
“I am proud and ready to do my best to promote sports, especially handball, as a former player who represented the state in the late 70s.
“I will try as much as possible to improve the sport,” Alabi said.
He described sports as a unifying factor and a ready tool to eradicate poverty in the country.
The deputy governor urged the HFN to support and expose the players to international standards, to further enhance the development of the sport in Nigeria.
Earlier, Ocheho praised the state for producing youth athletes that had been representing the country in age group competitions.
He noted that the seven female players from the state were part of the 14-person squad that represented the country recently.
Ocheho said that Kwara won the U-21 Championship in Lagos, the National Youth Games among others; describing the state as the hub of female handball.
He commended the state government’s determination to rehabilitate the sports indoor hall, and called for partnership with the government to host U-12 and U-15 Handball Championships.
The HFN chief noted that the female players would participate in the forthcoming under age championship tagged, “Partlle Cup, ” in Sweden in 2020 to further give them international exposure