Mr Dayo Awude, Commissioner for Sports, Ondo State, on Friday, pledged unalloyed support to individuals and organisations interested in developing Sports in the state.

Awude made this known during the Femi Seun Ogunode Foundation Athletics Challenge 2 which took place in Akure.

This event is the second in its series, to search for talented track and field athletes in Ondo State for preparation and sponsorship to international events.

Awude said the government could not do it alone, hence the crave for partnership of individuals or organisations.

“In Ondo State, we believe in raising them from the cradle, we don’t look for stars, we raise them to fulfill their potentials.”

“Here to give support to the host because he is doing a noble thing to support sports development in the state and we will partner with him in subsequent editions,” he said.

Also, Mr Olamide George, chairman, Ondo State House of Assembly Committee on Information, Youth and Sports, said a commission for the Ondo State Sports Council would be established in order to stand on its own.

He explained that Nigerian relied a lot on football alone, hence the need to develop other spread strengths and develop other sports as the way to develop as a nation.

Olamide further enjoined athletes that had represented Ondo State in the past to give back to the system.

“We are happy with our host, it’s the second time of this kind, which is why the House committee is partnering with him to catch them young.

“These new talents could represent Nigeria in so many kind of sports in the world.

“Many of our athletes are leaving Nigeria in search of greener pastures, which is part of the cause of the outcome of the last Olympics where Nigeria had no medal in track and field.

“Femi is the number one athlete in Asia, he has won so many medals for his country, both national and international competitions and he is back home to help the younger generation,” He said.

Similarly, the host, Mr Femi Ogunode, said he created the yearly event to give back to his state and society at large, and also create opportunities for the young athletes.

He explained that there was a lot of talent, but without support, wouldn’t be discovered.

“The athletes are selected all over Nigeria with equal opportunity to showcase their talents, and anyone discovered here will be sent to USA on full scholarship,” he said.