Delta State has emerged the winners of the NDDC- sponsored secondary schools swimming competition 2011 for the Niger Delta region with 811 points. Ondo was second with 523 points.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Mrs. Osato Iyasere Arenyeka, said the competition was designed to promote swimming, seen traditionally as a Niger Delta sport, in view of the region’s natural endowment with water.
“The Commission has set the ball rolling and it is our belief that other stakeholders and public-spirited individuals will join in this band wagon so that we can collectively develop this very important sport,” Mrs. Arenyeka said.
NDDC, she said, recognizes the importance of sports in both human and nation development and would do everything possible to accord it its right of place.
“This competition is the sixth in the series of our sponsored sporting programmes this year. It underscores the importance our Commission attaches to sports generally and the passion our Commission has in the development of youths in this region,” the NDDC boss said.
According to her, some of the NDDC- sponsored sporting programmes are already yielding dividends, especially in handball where two teams from Rivers and Bayelsa states were selected to represent Nigeria in a handball carnival in Sweden.
Also, two of the talents discovered in the NDDC-sponsored lawn tennis tournament among secondary schools in the Niger Delta region are in Sarodin Distinction Institute, Abuja, as part of efforts to further make them develop a career in lawn tennis.
In his speech, Director Youths, Sports, Culture and Women Affairs, Dr Princewill Ekanim, commended the participants for their sense of discipline, and urged the winners to take their victory with humility.
“Everybody can not be a winner. The losers must work harder, while the winners must see themselves as champions who can still improve” Dr Ekanim advised.
President, Nigeria Swimming Federation, Mr. Babatunde Fatayi-Williams commended the NDDC for the competition, describing it as a huge success.