Head Coach of Ondo State Badminton Association, Tumise Olalehin, has said his athletes are ready to represent the state well at the upcoming 21st National Sports Festival (NSF).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 21st NSF will be held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 10 in Delta State.

Delta State won the 20th edition of the Festival in Edo in 2021.

Olalehin, in an interview with NAN on Sunday in Akure, said his athletes were physically and mentally ready for the competition.

He said he was not bothered that some states were already poaching athletes, coupled with the the fact that international athletes would be allowed to participate in the competition.

The head coach, who appreciated the government and chairman of the association, Mr Olu Ajanaku, for the support, said though he could not predict the number of medals his athletes would win for the state.

Olalehin appreciated the sports council for the assurance that the athletes would compete in this edition.

“We have prepared very well towards this festival, we have players playing for the national team.

Majority of our players have come back and due to the support of the state government for paying their allowances, sponsoring them to tournament even before the festival, they have gathered a  lot of experience.

“We have players who just came back from international tournament, with training and with support of sports council, our chairman, Chief Olu Ajanaku, he has done well as our chairman.

“I think mentally, physically, we have prepared the athletes, by God’s grace.

“We cannot say the number of medals we are going to win, because a lot of players are going to be recruited from one state to the other, even international players are coming, but we have prepared all the athletes.

“The expectation is going to be superb because it will give the players avenue to sell themselves to Nigeria because we have a lot of competitions coming up next year,” he said.

According to him, the state will be represented by six players; two male and four female players.

NAN reports that Badminton was not part of the games that was competed by Ondo State at the 20th edition of the festival.(NAN)