The Senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial district, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, has asked the three tiers of government and the private sector to invest more in the promotion of sports and recreational activities especially among the youths.
Bamidele who spoke at the Final match of the M.O.B Ekiti Central Unity Cup which held at Oluyemi Kayode stadium, Ado-Ekiti, indicated that when youths are productively engaged in a worthy vocation like sports and recreation, they become more resourceful, creative, self-motivated and socially responsible.
Bamidele pointed out that previous football competitions organized in the state have produced international and local Players.
According to him, he has consistently taken interest in the sponsorship of football competitions and other activities in Ekiti state adding that the efforts have yielded positive results.
“For instance, some of the gallant products of our previous football competitions have become local and international football stars today.
“These include Babatunde Bello (now in Egypt), Alimi Sunday (now in Turkey), Sikemi Adisa (Ekiti United), Wale Makanjuola (Ekiti United) and Seyi Akinyemi (Ekiti United).
“I am persuaded that many female and male football stars will emerge from this competition also and I will not hesitate to continue to encourage and sponsor them until they become great sources of pride to us in Ekiti state.”
Irepidun-Ifekodun FC was awarded cash prize of N1 million after defeating Ado-Ekiti FC with 3-1 to emerge the winner in the male category of the Unity Cup, which cuts across the five local government areas in Ekiti Central Senatorial district.
The Ado-Ekiti F.C which emerged as first runner up received a cash gift of N750,000 while Are FC (Ijero-Ekiti) came second runner up in the competition with cash prize of N500,000
In the female category of the Unity Cup, MOB Queens emerged as the winner with a cash gift of N1 million while Tripple W FC came second with cash prize of N750,000 and Golden Queen FC of Ado as second runner up with cash gift of N500,000.
Bamidele reiterated his commitment towards empowering the youth through various initiatives including training programs with a view to making the youth diversify their energy.
He promised to also send each of the players who played for the top three teams in the male and female categories to a training program with an empowerment package of fifty thousand Naira each.
Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele who is seeking re-election into the Senate assured the government and people of the state of ceaseless people oriented programs with a call on the people to accord the present Biodun Oyebanji administration all necessary support to succeed.
Senator Bamidele reiterated his commitment to an unwavering support for the state governor and government.
He also appreciated the support of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Ekiti State Chapter, the Coaches Association, the Referees Council and the State Sports Council for their efforts at ensuring a successful and glamorous youth soccer competition.
There was also male and female marathon exhibition as some of the National athletics champions displayed the stuff they were made of to the admiration of the spectators.
The youth competition which featured male and female teams that represented various local government areas in Ekiti Central Senatorial District was witnessed by the deputy governor, Chief Christianah Afuye who represented governor Biodun Oyebanji, immediate past deputy governor, chief Bisi Egbeyemi, former APC state chairman, Chief Jide Awe as well as the Secretary to the state government, Alhaja Dr Habeebat Adubiaro and the Special Assistant to the governor on Public Utilities, Prof. Bolaji Aluko among several other top ranking government officials.