By Eniola Olatunji
The Sports Parliament of Nigeria has passed a motion that Nigerian sports cannot develop because the country is crazy about competitions rather than sports development.
The Speaker of the Sports Parliament on Africa’s largest Television Station, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and former Green Eagles Captain, Chief Patrick Olusegun Odegbami had challenges moderating the debate that expressed sadness at the low contribution of the Federal Government especially financial contribution to schools sports.
Parliamentarians said “we are focused on competitions instead of development and competitions without facilities to train are like a stroll in the park”.
The participants recollected their old days that some public schools had some sporting facilities which gingered them to train but today the football fields and athletic tracks are missing talk less of Tennis courts, volleyball courts and basketball courts among others which have been canceled to build more classrooms.
They therefore counseled the Federal Government to give financial loans to intending Governments (local and state) as well as private school operators to develop sports like Government is doing to the DISCO groups that are producing electricity to Nigerians.
The guest to the Sports Parliament, Mrs. Bisi Joseph who assumed coordination of the Nigerian Schools Sports Federation last November disclosed that her body has embarked a seven point agenda tagged Schools Sports Impact, one of which is to get a synergy of all stake holders like Federal Ministry of Education, Ministry of Sports, Association of Secondary School Principals (ANCOPS), Universal Basic Education (UBE). These include the State copies of these bodies.
She said the NSSF was on a drive to get more corporate sponsors for their programmes and believes very soon Nigeria will reap from the bountiful talents that abound in schools.
Nigerian secondary schools have produced great talents like Henry Nwosu, Stephen Keshi, Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo who held sway in Nigerian sports.
The Parliamentarians commended some organizations that has been sponsoring schools sports like Nestle Milo of Basketball on for 22 years, the NNPC secondary school football, Mobil Athletics, GT Bank etc pleading that Nigeria should help our children develop because sports is not all about competitions but on the total development and future of the child.
Chief Odegbami said the Edo State Deputy Governor will be the guest at the next Parliament session next Thursday. Edo State is hosting the 20thNational Sports Festival next month. The old Bendel State last hosted in 1981.