By Hananeel Jackson
Bayelsa State governor Senator Douye Diri on Thursday rewarded the State para team, coaches and officials who made the state proud in the second para games in the nation’s capital Abuja.
Team Bayelsa stunned the nation by defending the Nigeria version of the Paralympics to top the overall medal table with 73 medals comprising 30 gold, 24 silver and 20 bronze with Abia State finishing distant second behind Bayelsa.
The governor who received the contingent during the weekly prosperity walk at the Samson Siasia Stadium announced a cash reward of One million naira to each gold medalist, team gold medalist seven hundred thousand naira, silver medalist five hundred thousand naira (500.000.00) while team silver will smile home with three hundred and fifty thousand naira.
Single bronze medalist smiled home with three hundred thousand (300.000.00), team bronze received two hundred thousand (200.000.00). None medalist often described as “i was there “got fifty thousand (50.000.00) each.
Main Organizing Committee received One point five million naira, local organizing Committee One million naira, gold medal team official five hundred thousand naira, silver medal team official three hundred thousand naira, essential staff and support were also rewarded with one hundred thousand naira while helpers equally got one hundred thousand naira.
The governor while congratulating the athletes said their triumph in Abuja has brought a good image to the State, expressing continuous commitment towards giving priority to the welfare of athletes.
According to him, the feat achieved by team Bayelsa has further proven that Bayelsa is a force to reckon with when it comes to para games describing the games as the State monopoly, urging them not to rest on their oars.
The state helmsman noted that the only way a society would be a just society is to give premium attention to those who are challenged, stating that there should not be any form of discrimination between the physically challenged and able-bodied athletes.
Earlier in a remark, commissioner for Youth and Sports Development Chief Daniel Igali, thanked the para athletes for making Bayelsa proud describing them as the country’s best, pointing out that a society would be judged on how well they looked at the vulnerable.
He thanked the governor for giving utmost attention to the development of sports as well as engaging the minds of youths in the last four years even as his first term of his administration winds down on the 14th of February 2024.
Also, in an interview,
Director of Sports Bayelsa State Sports Council, Sir. Braveman Wodi,lauded governor Douye Diri for rewarding hard work and excellence,saying that the gesture to continuously reward athletes whenever they represent the state, has further signified the governor as a sports loving governor.