Cross River State at the weekend in Ilorin retained its title at the Sterling Bank-sponsored 6th National School Sports Festival after coming top on the overall medals’ table, thereby winning the trophy for keeps after winning it for three consecutive times.
The state finished with 115 gold, 78 silver and 61 bronze medals. Lagos came second, after garnering 49 gold, 43 silver and 54 bronze medals; Anambra with the largest number of contingent was third with 48 gold, 49 silver and 63 bronze medals.
Ondo State came forth, with 32 gold, 46 silver and 56 bronze medals, while host state was fifth with16 gold, 21 silver and 30 bronze medals.
Benue and Adamawa ended the festival without a medal to show for their effort.
The climax of the closing ceremony was the final of the football event in the U-17 category and the 4X100 meters ralay U-13 and U-15 category.
In the football event Kwara State defeated its Niger counterpart by 2-0, with goals coming from Onuora Uzochukwu and Henry Samuel in the 30th and 32nd minute, while Cross Rivers carted away all the gold medals in both the U-13 and U-15 boys and girls respectively.
Declaring the festival close, Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, represented by the state Head of Service, Aihaji Dabarako Mohammed was grateful to everyone that made the festival a success in spite of the short notice.
“I congratulated the NSSF for a successful festival, it has been able to foster unity among Nigerians and I prayed that the high standard will be maintained. The festival should be a platform for the future of sports in the country,” he said.
He said Kwara State government will always be ready to host competition of this magnitude whenever the state is called upon, just as he promised that the state’s sporting infrastructure would be improve upon for future competitions.
He concluded by saying that “athletes discovered by the state during the festival will be nurtured to greater heights and taken good care of.”