Calabar — Cross River State is sending not less than 280 athletes and other sports stars to this year's 18th National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012 which holds in Lagos beginning from November 27.
This was disclosed to journalists by the commissioner of sports and youth development in the state, Patrick Ugbe .
He said he 280 comprises of 192 athletes and 89 officials."out of this figure, there are 63 females and 129 are male", he said. Ugbe also said the state would be taking part in 18 different sports.
His words, "We can compete favourably in all the 18 sports. There are more than 18 sports in the event but we chose the 18 we feel we can compete favourably.
"We have had athletes in closed camping for a period of a month now but before then preparations had started. Camping arrangements this year has been the best in recent times.
Ugbe said, "In Rivers State last year we had seven gold medals and this year we believe we would do much better than that. We expect a hundred per cent improvement in our performances at the games, which means a minimum of 14 gold medals, but I think we would do better than 14 gold medals.
"You know the 19th edition would be hosted in
Cross River. Our target is to go to Lagos and begin to test run what we would do in 2014 in terms of performance not in terms of organization".
"In terms of organization, we would also understudy what Lagos State is doing and would do to ensure that the 19th edition is successful, because our aim is to do much better and surpass all the sports festivals staged so far.
On allowances, Ugbe confirmed that, "their competition allowances have been increased from what they used to get.