By Cleopatra Eki
The sports unit of 5E Concept Sports Management and Development has joined other stakeholders in the Nation’s Sports Sector in promoting grassroots sports in Nigeria. The group which engages in sports development for Children, Youths, Sports Management and Development in Lagos communities recently organized a virtual event tagged ‘Securing a Sustainable and Peaceful Future For all’.
Speaking at the event Mr Anthony Obi- Team Lead Sports Management and Development Unit observed that there has been reduction in sports participation within communities in recent times. According to him, there is a need for stakeholders to understand the rules, passion and followership in Sports today when compared to the past. He added that development of sports programmes are powerful tools for grassroots development and learning.
‘Sports provide children including the most marginalized with the opportunity to develop their physical abilities and health, to socialize, to build leadership skills, to foster lifelong learning and to learn as well as to have fun’.
Alhaji Awofeso Rasheed, Chairman, Child Protection Network , (CPN), Lagos State Chapter who also spoke at the event emphasized the importance of sports to the well-being of young people, development of the society and the economy achievement if properly enhanced.
Also, Executive Secretary , Youth Empowerment Foundation (YEF) Mrs lwalola Akin-jimoh who wass also on the panel highlighted the need for vocational training , Internship and business development, especially for young people to be funded by well meaning organizations as well as Non-Governmental bodies.
She highlighted that grassroots sports is a babe of youth empowerment in Nigeria, considering the overwhelming population in the country, and that it helps in the development of communities.
She also disclosed the activities of the Football Academy across some states and that the Foundation have been able to nurture both boys and girls in Taekwandon.
Akin-jimoh who was also one of the panelists urged governments at all levels to do more in training and developing young people so as to reduce youth restiveness and various social vices as we see today.
Another speaker on the Panel, Managing Director Tswako Sports Foundation, Muhammad Sanni Tswako emphasized that the problem of the grassroots sports in Nigeria, is funding and sponsorship and that it is not encouraging to the development and growth of sports in the country-. He disclosed that Tswako Sports Foundation Abuja is basically in the community for Tennis development , with supplies of equipment , training young people and encouraging the game in schools.
Andrew Esangbede , Speech and Games Director, 5E Concept, in his contribution said ‘it is a right concept to promote the Board Sports – Scrabble , Chess and others in Yaba Community , Lagos State , both private and Public Schools.’ According to him, the initiative promotes extra – curricular activities and inter house indoor games for both learners (amateurs ) and professional
Meanwhile, Olawuyi Musheedeen , Head Coach Tainhills Football Academy appealed for support from Stakeholders in the sector to promote sports development explaining that grassroots sports in the country is no longer encouraging for many reasons but that there may be a change from the policy makers if all concerned look into the situation with a sense of belonging.
Proprietor Soccer mix Academy, National Stadium , Surulere , Adegoke Ayodele who trains categories of young people from under 6 – l5years made a plea calling on Stakeholders in the sector to propagate the various programmes of the Academy which is includes education and socialization.
Concluding the event, Director 5E Concept, Victor Omoregbei, appreciated the speakers and participants stating that the aim of the conference is to continue to promote participation, inclusion, human values, acceptance of rules, discipline, health promotion, non-violence, tolerance, gender equality, teamwork, among others.