The 5th edition of the National Youth Games will hold in Kwara’s capital, Ilorin, from the September 7 – September 17.
The Games, which has an aim to discover, nurture and develop athletes from grassroots to stardom, will see all no fewer than 6000 athletes from the 36 States compete for top honours in 36 sports – an increase from 25.
7th and 8th will be for arrivals, while screening will take place on the 9th. Tennis action will serve off on the 11th – 15th at the tennis courts of the University of Ilorin.
The age limit for players have been reduced from 17 to 15 years, with the Ministry of Sports bent on coming down hard on age cheats.
Youngsters like Seun Ogunshakin, Mohammed Idris, Salamatu Haruna, who won the U-12 category at this year’s Chevron Junior Tennis Championship, and Iye Onoja–all of whom have represented Nigeria in African Junior Championships this year, are also expected to feature for their respective States.
The first edition of the Games was held in Abuja in 2013 and since then Ilorin has played host to the event, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions coming in 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Team Delta has topped the medals’ table in every edition, clinching 27 Gold, 24 Silver and 16 Bronze in last year’s edition. Lagos State, which did not participate in the 2nd and 3rd editions, came second on the medals’ table last year, with 23 Gold, 15 Silver and 22 Bronze. Host, Kwara came 9th. Team Adamawa finished bottom of the log, with one Bronze medal.
The Grassroots Sports Development under the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, is the body that controls the Games, with Dr. Ademola Are as the Director.