Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa government says it remains committed to identifying, nurturing and supporting talented Bayelsa indigenes to excel in sports and win laurels for the state.
Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dr Baraladei Igali stated this on Wednesday when he received Bayelsa-born International Wrestling Referee, Dr Timipre Okou.
Okou just returned from Madagascar where he officiated at the Indian Ocean Island Games.
Igali said the Gov. Douye Diri-led administration is passionate about the development of sports as a tool of engaging the productive energies of youths.
He explained that the state government believes in creating platforms for the people of Bayelsa to express and expose themselves on a global stage.
While commending the feat achieved by Okou in refereeing, Igali described him as an asset to Bayelsa State and the Nigerian Wrestling Federation.
Igali assured that the state government will give Okou, who is a worthy ambassador, needed support.
The Bayelsa-born International Wrestling Referee, Okou, on his part, expressed gratitude to Douye Diri, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports and the Nigerian Wrestling Federation.
Okou thanked them for giving him a platform to represent the country on the international stage.
Recounting his experiences as a Referee, Okou, who is a Major in the Nigerian Army said he is capable of providing socioeconomic empowerment and fulfilment.
Okou expressed the desire to partner with the government and any group to nurture and mentor budding talents in refereeing.
He explained that plans are underway for a wrestling competition among higher institutions in Bayelsa to discover wrestlers and nurture referees.