October, 24 2023.
Plans to resuscitate, rejuvenate grassroots sports
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development,
Senator John Owan Enoh has stated that Nigeria's journey towards sporting excellence hinges on the strategic provision of essential sports infrastructure and nurturing talents at the grassroots level.
He stated this during a radio engagement with Nigerians on Brila Media's Sports Fans Parliament. He said a critical first step towards this noble goal involves a rejuvenation of the school sports system.
Senator Enoh passionately asserted that revitalizing School Sports and returning it to its former glory is imperative. He acknowledged that this initiative necessitates not only the enhancement of existing programs but also an ambitious collaboration with stakeholders, most notably through a robust private-public partnership.
In his address, the Minister stated thus: “School sports would come back. The ministry is going to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Education, because they are going to be a necessary partner in this.”
"I’m aware that we have had different people sponsor different aspects of school sports, but this has also largely been limited and restricted to a state, a few states, or a zone. The school sports that the Ministry of Sports Development is going to resuscitate is going to have a national scope and therefore have every part of the country get involved.”
Beyond talent development, the School Sports system has also proven instrumental in curbing age cheating, fostering proper documentation, and nurturing aspiring athletes with exceptional skills and talents. This holistic approach ensures that promising athletes receive the support and mentorship they need to reach their full potential.
In light of Senator John Owan Enoh's visionary blueprint, it is clear that the revitalization of School Sports will play a pivotal role in Nigeria's sporting resurgence. By embracing a nationwide approach and engaging with diverse stakeholders, this initiative promises to bring back the glory days of School Sports, fostering a brighter future for Nigerian athletes and a more competitive and successful sporting landscape.
Historically, School Sports has been a catalyst for Nigeria's rise to prominence in the global and national sporting arena. It served as a breeding ground for prodigious talents who later earned acclaim as athletes and coaches. Icons such as Stephen Keshi, Daniel Amokachi, Henry Nwosu, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, Chioma Ajunwa, Ese Brume, etc., owe their success to the School Sports system.
The Media Office of the Honourable Minister of Sports Development.
October 24, 2023.