ILORIN – The permanent secretary, Akwa Ibom ôministry of sports, Joseph Edem says the state is targeting a top place finish at the 2016 National Youth Games kicking off on Saturday in Ilorin.
Edem who spoke to newsmen during upon their arrival in the Kwara State capital on Friday, said the state contingents are aiming to surpass their previous second-place finish in their last outing at this year’s edition.
The permanent secretary, who doubles as head of Akwa Ibom state’s delegation, said the Governor Idol Emmanuel led state government had created enabling environment for the athletes to excel at the games.
He further urged the federal government to take the youth games seriously, citing the event as a grassroot platform to unearth future stars of the country.
Edem asked for stiff sanctions to be meted out to state caught fielding overage athletes, suggesting ban of such state from the age-grade fiesta.
He added that the state will compete in fourteen sports featuring seventy-six athletes alongside thirty-two technical officials at the one week sporting event.
Akwa Ibom state finished as the first runner-up at the maiden edition of the National Youth Games behind overall winner Cross Rivers state.