Invest in youth through sports – Govt urged
By Femi Atolagbe
Governments, stakeholders have been charged on the need to massively invest in the development of youths through sports and education.
A sports journalist and the assistant secretary Sports Writers Association of Nigerian (SWAN)Ondo state chapter, Mr Isaac Afolabi declared this while speaking with journalists in Akure.
Afolabi, who is also the initiator of a sports based NGO called BLITZIK said it is the responsibility of government to create the enabling environment and encourage investors to key in to make sports thrive in the state.
He lamented the neglect of grassroots sports development by corporate organisations, calling for a drastic change to balance and motivate talented youths who have talents in football and other sports.
According to him, “I advocate more support for other sports, that is why I choose basketball to shift government attention a bit from football, to stop the movement of Ondo players to other state or teams”.
He advised those that has gone to rescind their decision and come back home, saying majority of the players were discovered, nurture and brought to limelight in the state.
It will be an act of ungrateful to abandoned the state at this level they will be needed more.
He further called for a synergy between the ministries of sports and their counterpart from Ministry of Education in ensuring that raw talents and those engaged in active sports are encouraged to pick up academic courses or learn a skill during their blistering career . So that they will have something to fall back and be relevant to the society after their career and not solely relying on government for financial support or living in poverty.
He however noted that his non governmental organisation known as Blitzik sports will continue to advocate for a better well being of sports men and women,talents and education mixed with sports for a better society.
To this end, Blitzik will be staging a sports clinic, the first of its kind which will kick start with basketball at the Akure sports complex on May 15 , 2019 by 9am.
The clinic will feature secondary schools basketball teams from Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos states respectively.
The participating clubs are Ondo kings,Ondo raiders, Sunshine angels, Invaders Ekiti and MFM basketball team of Lagos.
He therefore appealed to corporate organisations and schools to continue to organize sports competition which will engage youths, divert their energy into meaningful ventures. Above all which will keep them mentally and physically fit.