By Frank Iroroh

The founder and Chancellor of the First Sports University in West African subregion, the Stars University, Idumuje Ugboko, Delta State, Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko, Monday, hosted the victorious Team Delta to a lavish reception party.

The event took place at the poolside of his Mount Ned Nwoko Tourist and Resort, Idumuje Ugboko.

The athletes and officials, numbering close to 1500 persons, were made up of the contingent to the 4th National Youth Games, Uniilorin 2018, and Team Delta to 19th National Sports Festival, Abuja 2018.

Addressing the contingent, Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko described Delta State as a unique with talented and industrious sons and daughters who are calling the shots at the top of Nigeria’s economic indexes.

He cited remarkable achievements of Deltans in vital sectors of Nigeria’s economy and urged the youths to use their talents to excel in their chosen career.

His words, “Delta State is far above other States in Nigeria in many areas, particularly in terms of her exceptionally talented and industrious sons and daughters who are making waves in all the sectors of its economy. The State is excelling in infrastructural development also”.

“Delta is the first State in Nigeria to produce an athlete who won the first individual Gold medal at the Olympics. Our sister Chioma Ajunwa, made Nigeria proud when she won an individual Gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Also for many years, Delta state has held the premiership position in Sports, both at the National Youth Games and Senior National Sports Festivals.”

He further added, “outside being the number one in Sports, Delta State is the only State in Nigeria that has two Airports. Major Banks in Nigeria are owned by Deltans and major national Newspapers are also owned by Deltans. So as a youth, you must use your talents to excel in life,” he advised the young sportsmen and women.

Prince Ned Nwoko described himself as a passionate lover of Sports, who want to contribute to the growth of the sector in the country, to help the national team win more laurels at the Olympic Games, “I love Sports, at the university, I studied History and Law and obtained a double major degree, because in my university, students have choice to study two courses. This is what gave me the inspiration to establish the Stars University, to give athletes the opportunity to perform Sports, study Sports related courses that will enhance their performance in national and international competitions and to also them study any other course of their choice. So you must be good in Sports to be admitted into the university and while here you can do Accounting, Engineering, Agricultural Science, any course of your choice.” He emphasized.

He also told the audience that the Stars University Idumuje Ugboko will commence academic activities by September.

While making the speech, he was flanked by Deborah Okpochini on the right and Anita Okpochini on the left, Deborah Okpochini won 9 Gold medals at Abuja 2018 while the Anita Okpochini won 4 Gold medals at National Youth Games, Uniilorin 2018.
While praising the duo for their rare achievements, Prince Ned Nwoko told the audience that Anita Okpochini was a product of the swimming competition he hosted at the Resort, where the young SSS-3 female student of Akashiede Grammar school, Obiaruku, won 3 Gold medals at the event.”
He added, “I am very delighted that she went on to win more gold medals at National Youth Games, Uniilorin 2018. I am confident, she will record the first Nigeria Olympic gold medal in swimming.” He predicted.

Further he added, “Anita Okpochini is the first beneficiary of my scholarship award to sports talents and I want to extend the scholarship to 20 other exceptional athletes. I want the Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission and the Director General to give me 20 names of star athletes for the scholarship award.
Each recipient will get N400,000 per section throughout the duration of their program.” He announced, to a thunderous ovation from the over joyous athletes.

Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko received another round of resounding applaud and ovation when he announced a mouth watering gift of N20million to the athletes and officials for making the state proud.

Concluding the address, the great sports enthusiast and philanthropist reminded the sports men and women of their civic responsibility to vote during elections. He particularly enjoined them to mobilize their friends and relations to come out in large numbers to cast their votes for Governor Okowa on March 2rd general elections.

As he put it, “you all know that that the general elections is within days ahead, you must come out to exercise your civic responsibility. I want you to mobilize your friends and relations to come out in large numbers to vote for Governor Okowa on 2rd March.

Governor Okowa is a good man, he is highly focus, responsible and discipline. He is an experience administrator and as you can see he has transformed the state within just three and half years. If we give him another four years he will record many more spectacular achievements.” He concluded.

The amiable and charismatic political colossus, later went round and took turns to have handshakes with all athletes and officials at the gala show, some athletes who were anxious to take selfish with him, were gladly allowed.

Delta State won the 2018 National Youth Games with 67 medals, consisting of 27 Gold, 24 Silver and 16 Bronze medals, making it four consecutive times the State has won the cadet games, haven won the median edition in 2014 and subsequently winning the, 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions.

The State also recorded amazing result at the Abuja 2018 National Senior Sports Festival, Abuja 2018, when she pulled a record shattering number of 352 medals, consisting of 163 Gold, 88 Silver and 101 Bronze medals, making it the first time in the festival history for a state to haul such huge numbers of medals at a single National Sports Fiesta.

Among the dignitaries who witnessed the lavish and colourful gala night were; Chief Tonobok Okowa, the Executive Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, who also Chairman the occasion and Mr Victor Onugagamue, the Director General of Delta State Sports Commission.
Others included the former acting Governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Prince Sam Obi, the ex international football legend, John Fashanu and the Nigeria’s first Olympic Gold medalist, the Delta born Chioma Ajunwa, the Director of Sports Development, Mr Chris Anazia, and the Director of Sports (Technical), madam Matha Jugar amongst other distinguished Nigerians.

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