The Diepreye Abaye Leghemo (DAL) Foundation, a Bayelsa based nongovernmental organization, has presented cheques of N200,000 each to the 32 athletes who won gold medals during the National Sports Festival held in Abuja in December last year.
Presenting the cheques to the gold medalists at Teriel Events Centre in Yenagoa, president of DAL, Mr. Diepreye Leghemo said the gesture was in fulfilment of his earlier promise to reward every Bayelsan that would win a gold medal at the sports event.
Represented by the head of corporate communications of the foundation, Mr. Victor Binawari, the president noted that the philanthropic move was to honour those who used their fields of calling to make Bayelsa and Nigeria proud.
He noted that the token of financial appreciation would further spur the gold medalists to do more and also encourage upcoming sports enthusiasts to develop interest in sporting events.
He stressed that the honour was to also encourage the state government's effort towards sports development, adding that for Bayelsa to finish as top five in the just concluded national sports festival was no mean feat.
"This is to encourage you to continue to make the state and Nigeria proud. Thirty-two gold medals is no mean fit because we have states that were probably well funded. We congratulate you", he said.
Responding, the Director of Sports at the Bayelsa state Sports Council, Chief Atamidi Tukoru poured encomiums on DAL foundation for recognizing and rewarding excellence.
He enjoined the benefitting athletes to take advantage of the honour done them by the foundation to work harder in their subsequent outings rather than being complacent.
Also responding on behalf of the gold medalists, Mr. Daniel Amas, who won a gold medal in the wrestling category said they were full of appreciation to the foundation for honouring them, not only in words, but also in cash.
He said the foundation's philanthropy would encourage him to work harder in his future endeavours, and that that it would also spur younger athletes to develop the spirit of hard work.