The 14,000 capacity Ozoro Polytechnic Stadium
The ultra-modern Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro Stadium will be a beehive of activities from April 2 to 7 when athletes from various parts of the state gather for the state’s 2017 sports festival, the first under the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
The 14,000 Ozoro ‘Olympic size’ stadium built through internally generated revenue by the rector, Dr. Jacob Oboreh with the support of Governor Okowa, was commissioned in December last year.
The Guardian learnt yesterday that Governor Okowa in his bid to maintain Delta State’s number position in the nation’s sports, has given the Sports Commission, headed by Tony Okowa, the nod to stage the festival as a way of preparing the athletes for major sporting events, particularly the National Sports Festival.
The 2017 Delta Sports Festival will hold in two venues, Ozoro and Asaba, with the former playing host to both the opening and closing ceremonies.
While commissioning the complex in December, Okowa had called for proper utilisation of the facility to avoid any form of wastage. The stadium with a 14,000 sitting capacity has a standard football pitch, floodlights for night events and eight lanes for athletics track and field events.
The Head of Public Relations Unit of Delta Sports Commission, Mr. Sunny Edoge told The Guardian yesterday that events such as football and athletics would take place at Ozoro, while others like boxing, weightlifting, gymnastics, basketball and table tennis will hold in the state capital.
Team Delta, under former Governor James Ibori ruled the National Sports Festival, winning it three times at Bauchi 2000, Abuja 2004 and Gateway 2006, while the administration of immediate past Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan won it two times at KADA 2009 and Eko 2012.
Some athletes and coaches who spoke with The Guardian yesterday praised the administration of Governor Okowa for deeming it fit to stage a state festival at a time the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports is foot-dragging on hosting of the National Sports Festival, which had suffered postponement since 2012.