The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has unveiled the Mascot, five ambassadors and theme song for the 2020 National Sports Festival to be hosted by Edo State.
The governor said the state government would organise a world-class event that will be a reference point for future hosts, noting, “It is about hosting with the right spirit so that it becomes a festival to look forward to by other states.”
He added that his administration will use the hosting of the festival to re-enact sports development in the state, by building facilities to guarantee a good future for the growth of sports in the state.
“Sports is native to us. We are renewing that nativity,” he noted.
Obaseki commended the Federal Government for its gesture to hand over its sporting facility in the state to the state government.
He also commended the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the festival for its commitment towards hosting a successful festival.
The Minister of Sports and Youth, Mr. Sunday Dare praised the Obaseki-led administration for its commitment to hosting an outstanding festival.
He said the Samuel Ogbenudia Stadium being refurbished is 91 per cent FIFA standard.
He explained that the unveiling of the mascot for the festival would help in marketing the National Sports Festival to the world for participation and sponsorship.
Earlier, Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu who is also chairman of the LOC for the 2020 National Sports Festival, said the event would serve as a veritable platform for fostering national unity, promote mutual coexistence and friendship across different cultures.
Shaibu said the LOC was working round the clock to ensure that all aspects of the festival were adequately planned for.
On his part, Chairman, Media and Publicity sub-committee of the LOC, Mr Tony Akiotu, said the use of Mascot during sports promotes the spirit of sportsmanship, hard work, and hope.
Akiotu said the figure of the mascot, a Leopard, named ‘Etin’ means strength in Edo Language, played a significant role in the history and culture of the Benin Kingdom.