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Unity torch returns to the S’East



THE Torch of Unity which has been touring the nation has arrived Anambra State. The torch which symbolises peace, love and unity, was received by the Deputy Governor Dr. Nkem Okeke, Secretary to State Government Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu and other members of the state executive council,
as well as some legends like Mary Onyali, Emmanuel Okala and so many who have won medals for Anambra, in honor of the National Sports Festival coming up in December at Abuja. “Anambra State will definitely participate fully to compete professionally, and do their best to bring back the gold medal” Okeke said.
Speaking to National Light, Chairman Anambra State Sports Development Commission, Mr. Tony Oli, said that receiving the torch signifies that Anambra state is ready, “we have done all the necessary homework to enable us attend the competition in Abuja. In the aspect of sports, Anambra is developing day by day. We will keep improving because it can never be enough” he said.
Oli also said that there about 39 events for the competition, “but we will go more for the ones where we have comparative advantage. We would compete in the very popular events like table tennis, cricket, volley ball, badminton among others.
Trials were done in the 3 senatorial zones to enable us give opportunity to every interested person. After the zonal level, a state wide trial was conducted and 350 persons were selected to go to camp.  It is a process and we would only go with the best” he said.
Contributing, Mary Onyali, an Olympian from Anambra State who has won two bronze medals in Track and Field, said it’s a home coming for her receiving the torch in her state after so many journeys back to the south-east and in her state.
“I took pride in receiving the torch with my fellow Olympians and futuristic Olympians. Some junior ones are also here with us and they really aspire to be like us. This torch which will be passed on to Abuja for the National Sports Festival, was the event that discovered the likes of myself before I left the shores of Nigeria to the United States for scholarship.
The festival is very important to me, being the beginning of my journey and also being a pathfinder to the younger ones” Onyali said.
Encouraging the young ones Onyali said that sports is very intensive, fun, and something you must be called to do. “You must have the passion for sports and aspire to be better, bigger, faster and stronger than those before you” she advised.
Comparing Nigeria to the western world in the area of sports, Onyali said that Nigeria is a growing nation. “We will surely get there, it took them a long while to get where they are. That’s the reason why I came back to Nigeria after five consecutive Olympic attendants with two bronze medals, to inspire the younger ones to be greater than I am”.
Onyali also mentioned that she is handling a sports project to give opportunity to about 90 Nigerian Athletes both home and abroad, to enable them get to the Olympic and experience what it feels like to stand in the world’s stage.

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