Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Monday, received the state’s Under-18 female handball team after emerging champions at a recent national tournament in Lagos.
Governor Diri, who addressed the team in Government House, Yenagoa, announced a cash reward of N3.5 million for being shining ambassadors of the state.
He described the team’s triumph as a miracle because of the odds against it and commended their determination to come back home with the trophy.
His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that the road to success was not always rosy as it takes sacrifice and hard work to overcome all obstacles.
Diri, who was full of praises for the athletes, expressed appreciation on behalf of the government and the people of the state for making the state proud.
His words: “I’m aware that you struggled on your own, having faith in God to say you want to deliver this cup to the governor and people of Bayelsa State.
“I say a big thank you to all of you for your star performance and for believing in what we have been preaching. You are good examples of good students who listened to their teacher and had faith in the teacher to become what you want to be in life.
“You represented us very well in Lagos despite the financial challenges and inadequacies that you must have experienced. You still told yourselves that this cup must return to Bayelsa. That is the way to success, which is always very rough, narrow and mostly winding. For you to get access to a rose, you must experience thorns.”
Diri charged them to brace up for the challenge ahead as they prepare to represent the country in a championship abroad.
He announced that the team’s preparation and trip to the tournament would be written off by the government while promising a handsome reward if they emerge victorious.
Speaking earlier, head coach of the state’s handball team, Mr. Opuene Yekorogha, said they were proud to represent the state despite the initial hiccups of poor funding.
Mr. Yekorogha, who thanked Governor Diri for coming to the team’s aid financially, stressed that they were determined to do better with the backing of the state government.
He stated that the continental championship in Sweden or Spain would be held in June this year.