Governor Douye Diri has rewarded Bayelsa State athletes, coaches and officials that won medals at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival in Benin City in April this year.
Receiving the contingent at the Executive Council Chambers at Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Diri announced a cash reward of a million Naira to each individual gold medalist with Star athlete and Swimmer, Ifiezibe Gagbe getting about 10.2 million Naira in reward having won 8 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals at the Unity Games.
Team Sport gold medalists were rewarded with 500 thousand Naira each while gold medal winning coaches and secretaries had 500 thousand Naira each.
The Governor said individual sport silver medalists will smile home with 350 thousand Naira, Team Silver medalists, 250 thousand Naira each while Silver medal winning Coaches and Secretaries will have 300 thousand Naira.
Individual bronze medalists will have 300 thousand Naira each, Team Bronze medalists will make do with 100 thousand Naira as Bronze medal winning Coaches and Secretaries will have 200 thousand Naira.
He said non medal winning athletes will be appreciated with 50 thousand Naira as non medal winning coaches and secretaries will also have 50 thousand Naira.
Governor Diri who commended Team Bayelsa for their outstanding performance at the 20th National Sports Festival where they finished third in the overall medals table with a total of 169 medals comprising 56 gold, 55 silver and 58 bronze, charged them to go a step further in the next edition tagged Delta 2022.
Earlier in a remark, the Commissioner for Sport Development, Daniel Igali stated that the support of the Governor ensured that Team Bayelsa excelled at the National Sports Festival, pledging that with more support, the Team would strive to improve in subsequent editions.
In an interview, the Director of Sports in the State Sports Council, Sir Braveman Wodi expressed appreciation to the Governor, stressing that the athletes have the capability to achieve more in Delta 2022.
Highpoint of the event was the adoption of two athletes by Governor Douye Diri in line with the Adopt an Athlete Initiative of the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare.
Those adopted were 17 year old sprinter, Tima Godbless who won a silver medal in the women’s 200 meters race and a bronze medal in the 4×100 meters relay at the Festival and multiple African and Commonwealth champion in Wrestling, Blessing Oborududu.
A minute’s silence was held in honour of one of the athletes, Samson Ndukwe, who won gold medal at Edo 2020 and who passed on before the reception for Team Bayelsa.