Lagos, Cross River and Edo states were missing as the second edition of the National Youth Games opened at the University of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
Recalled that the Lagos state was absence in 2016 NYG and the city of Excellence didn’t show up as 5, 288 athletes ready to compete in 13 events for the 2017 edition.
No fewer than 33 states register as the Games begins on Saturday at the University of Ilorin playing ground.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung has harped on the development of sports from the grass root levels in line with international best practices.
Declaring the event open on Saturday, the minister urged athletes to see their role in the games as a stepping stone to greater height bearing in mind that there is joy in participation and winning.
”Sports in Nigeria have grown and contributed immensely to national unity and brought stronger binding spirit in the country,” Dalung said.
Also Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, commended the minister for sustaining the games which has become a platform for discovering talents.
Governor Ahmed urged the participants not to relent in achieving success in their areas of chosen sports.
”As young athletes, you do not have to only focus on sports but extend such passion to your education,” he advised.
The Governor also called for synergy between public and private sectors in developing sports at all levels.
The Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali, while addressing the athletes said sports is the only thing in life that have universal language and easy to speak.
Professor Ambali explained that the University is hosting the Games in recognition of the role of youths as champions and custodians of the future.