Athletes from other sports were also rewarded.
The Kano State government gave out 28 brand new Corolla saloon cars and cash gifts to the players and officials of Kano Pillars FC, for winning the 2013 Glo Premier League title for the second consecutive time.
Similarly, the government donated sporting equipment and cash valued at over N175 million to 20 football clubs from each of the 44 local government areas of the state as well as other clubs in the state Tofa Divisions, I, II and III league.
Other athletes that received cash gifts from the government were members of the state contingent to the National Sports Festival, officials and team members of the state para-soccer team, the state contingent to the 6th National School Sports Festival, and two indigenes of Kano, members of the national handball team, that won the bronze medal at the World under 21 handball championship in Mexico.
Presenting the donation in a ceremony at the Government House lawn in Kano, the state governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, said the government’s resolve was as a result of its realisation of the role of sports in economic, political and national development, besides its centrality to physical and psychological wellbeing.
“We are happy that our investment (in sports) has started bearing fruits as evidenced by the significant success so far recorded by the various teams and athletes that represented the state in national and international competitions more than any previous administration has ever recorded since the creation of the state in 1967,” Mr. Kwankwaso stated.
The governor maintained that in light of the youth restiveness and insurgency fuelled by the raw energy of the youth, Nigeria can be more peaceful if the youth’s sports talents were harnessed and developed. He pointed out that doing so would place the country among the top sporting countries in the world.
“As many countries employ sports as political and diplomatic weapon to advance national interests, we too can borrow a leaf to champion and advance our interests nationally and internationally,” Mr. Kwankwaso argued.
He used the occasion to present allocation letters for pitches and courts to various sports clubs in Kano at the multi billion naira Kofar Na’isa sports complex, explaining that the move was to guarantee optimum utilisation of the arena for the development of sports at the grassroots.