Sports Writers Bemoan Dwindling Fortune Of Sports In Ogun - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sports Writers Bemoan Dwindling Fortune Of Sports In Ogun


- Urge Gov. Abiodun To Assent Sports Commission, Trust Fund Bills



- The Daily Crucible

The Ogun State Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has expressed concern over the stunted growth and development of sports sector in the state, describing it as unfortunate.

SWAN lamented that despite the massive talents and sports enthusiasm among the indigenes and residents, sports remained largely unharnessed to help drive the socioeconomic life of the Gateway State.

This was the submission of members of the association during the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected executive of the association in the state  at the NUJ press centre, Iwe-Irohin House, Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta. 

In his acceptance speech, the SWAN Chairman in the state, Hakeem Akintunde said sports development around the world was hinged on numbers of factors which include, Sports management and administration, facilities and equipment, Sports personnel, funding and sponsorship, institutional sports development, Sports competition and festivals. 

Akintunde stressed further that, to experience the desired growth in the Nigerian sports industry, there has to be an encompassing National Sports Policy which directly addresses the issues listed above.

The SWAN Chairman recalled that, after the state hosted the much glorified National Sports Festival tagged "Gateway Games 2006" and 2009 U-17 World Cup, the once growing fortune of the state in sports promotion and development, slumped without any effort to revive it.
 
He called on the state government and House of Assembly members to speed up the Sports Commission and Sports Trust Fund Bills before the Assembly as a way of revitalizing the past glory of sports in the state. 

"That said, to experience the desired growth in the Nigerian sports industry, there has to be an encompassing National Sports Policy which directly addresses the improvement of the above listed factors. 

"But here’s the unfortunate Nigerian reality: majority (if not all) of the different Nigerian sports federations have no sports policy at federation, state and local government level. There is no clearly spelt-out blueprint or long-term development plan whatsoever to develop sports at all levels in the country.

"Thankfully, there is the 2009 National Sports Policy document which is still very much relevant and largely un-implemented just like the first document in 1989 and this lack of implementation has hindered the growth of the industry.

"It is on this premise I want to call on Ogun State Government to invest heavily in sports developments of the state as another avenue to create job employment and take our youths off the street. 

"Since 2009 the state hosted the U-17 World Cup, the growing fortune of the state in sports promotion and development has gone into extinction. The last nine years in the state was a total collapse of the sports sector."

Also speaking in the same vein, the Lagos State SWAN Chairman, Mr. Debo Oshundun maintained that, the establishment of Ogun State Sports Commission would take away the burden of funding the sector off the shoulder of the state government

Oshundun added that, the Sports Trust Fund, as established in Lagos State, would allow professionals and private investors to drive the sporting sector of the state. 

Similarly, the Oyo State SWAN Chairman, Niyi Alebiosu appealed to the state government to partner sports writers in the state to reposition the sporting sector. 

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Dr.  Kehinde Oludare promised to synergize with the sports writers, assuring them of the state government's support to revive the sector. 

The commissioner, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths and Sports, Olamide Lawal, noted that the state government has always prioritized sports development in the state. 

He explained that, since assumption into office 14 months ago, the state government has successfully hosted the Abeokuta Marathon race and Remo Marathon race. 

He further explained that, the Ijebu-Ode International Stadium abandoned by the previous government has been rehabilitated with modern facilities. 

Meanwhile, the newly inaugurated exco are Hakeem Akintunde, Chairman, Jonathan Adekunle, Vice Chairman, Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji, Secretary, Lekan Agbonde, Treasurer, and Bayo Adegboyega, Assistant Secretary.

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