ABUJA (Min of Youths and Sports Dev Report) – The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has commended the Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, for the 2019 Sports Summit which took place in Imo State, recently.
The Minister who made this commendation during the Summit held on Thursday, November 28, 2019 in Owerri, the Imo State capital, described it as another major act in the series of ongoing and incoming acts the Governor has committed his administration to in Grass-root sports .
While speaking, Sunday Dare quoted Nelson Mandela’s words, “Sports has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that nothing else does. It speaks of Youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all forms of discrimination”, saying that Governor Ihedioha had caught the Mandela bug in giving true meaning to these inspiring words.
Governor Ihedioha has therefore taken giant strides in boosting Sports Development in Nigeria.
Mr Dare expressed delight at the sub theme of the summit ‘to catalyse sporting excellence by driving talent mining at the grassroots level’. He compared talent mining with oil mining or field which he illustrated as an oil triangle and likened it to the life of an athlete, adding that many of our former athletes lived in near penury but efforts were on to change the narrative by the Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government.
He further reiterated that the sub theme, was in sync with the belief at the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, that there was the need to create a backend linkage in sports development initiatives in the country. He highlighted some of the programmes which the Ministry had conceived to bring to bear and the ones already on ground, such as: the Talent Hunt Program THP, which will be launched in February, the National Youth Games for ages 6-15 organized in September at Ilorin and the National Sports Festival, organized by the Ministry, where talents were discovered.
Mr Dare recalled with nostalgia, the Principal Cup of old, which produced household names like Henry Nwosu, Adokiye Amiesimaka etc and expressed delight that the Principals and Headmasters cup for Primary Schools will be brought back on track in order to boost the catchments.
He therefore implored the active collaboration of States and Local Governments while also expressing optimism for Imo State maximum support.
Mr Dare further solicited for other stakeholders, including the organized private sector to support sports development, as government funding alone was insufficient to drive sports development. He stated that the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development was working with the National Economic Summit Group to develop a template for running sports as a business.
The Minister said that the Imo State model of having each Local Government build a Mini-Stadium Sports Complex and develop sports sites in the heart of sports development will greatly motivate boarding talents. He said the Imo model will be adopted as a template by the Ministry and sold to other States for sports development. This model example will open up opportunities for our teeming youth to be engaged. (Edited by Deborah)
Chief Inform. Officer.
For: Director Press.