LAGOS, September 18, 2019 – The 2019 edition of Nigeria’s Youth Olympics, known as the Nigeria National Youth Games, ended in a grand style after ten days of active participation from athletes in over 34 games.
This year’s edition is the fifth edition of the Games for athletes under 15 years of age. A total number of 3,893 athletes from 33 states and the FCT competed in the event from the 7th of September to the 17th of September, 2019 at the University of Illorin Sports Complex in Kwara State.
The opening ceremony preceding the championship was one of the most emblematic Nigerian Olympic events. During the ceremony, the popular Nigeria Musician Adekunle Temitope, known as Small Doctor, performed.
Athletes from Delta state have been dominating and emerging overall champions since the beginning of the Games in 2013, the team came out top again as winners this year with a total of 104 medals. They won 41 gold, 32 silver and 31 bronze medals to come first and defend the Championship they won in 2018.
Lagos emerged second overall on the medal table after winning a total of 72 medals of which 22 were gold, 36 silver, and 14 bronze. Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Edo state finished in the top five, while Ondo, Ogun, Oyo state, Federal Capital Territory and Plateau state finished in the top 10.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Minister of Sports Sunday Dare gave assurance that the Youth Games will produce talents that will make the country proud in international competitions. He also warned athletes against the use of prohibited substances as stipulated by Anti-doping Agency.
Dare who was represented at the opening ceremony by the Director of Grassroot Sports Development in the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development and NYG Coordinator, Dr. Ademola Ar, expressed delight at the presence of the young athletes.
Dare said, “To all the participants, I urge you to see your role in these Games as a stepping stone to greater height, bearing in mind that there is joy in participation and sportsmanship, therefore do your best in your respective areas, by competing clean, without the use of prohibited substances as stipulated by Anti-doping Agency.”
“At the maiden edition in 2013, the discovered athletes represented Nigeria at the 2014 African Youth Games in Botswana and 2015 Commonwealth Games in Samoa where laurels were won. At the third and fourth edition, the discovered athletes represented Nigeria at the African Youth Games in Algeria. So, it is my hope that this edition will follow in the same notable path of history by producing podium athletes,” Dare said.