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The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria has called for a quick passage of Sports Commission and Sports Trust Fund Bills before the state House of Assembly as a way of revitalizing the past glory of sports in the state.
Chairmen of SWAN in Ogun , Oyo and Lagos said this at the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected executive members of the association in the state held at the NUJ press centre, Iwe-Irohin House, Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta.
The newly inaugurated executive members are ; Hakeem Akintunde, Chairman, Jonathan Adekunle, Vice Chairman, Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji, Secretary, Lekan Agbonde, Treasurer, and Bayo Adegboyega, Assistant Secretary.
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.
In his remarks, the Oyo State SWAN Chairman, Niyi Alebiosu appealed to the state government to partner sports writers in the state to reposition the sporting sector.
In his acceptance speech, the SWAN Chairman in the state, Hakeem Akintunde said sports development around the world was hinged on numbers of factors.
According to him , the factors include ; Sports management and administration, facilities and equipment, Sports personnel, funding and sponsorship, institutional sports development, Sports competition and festivals.
He lamented that despite the massive talents in the state and love of the people for sports, it was unfortunate that the sector is still very much under-developed in the state.
Akintunde noted that 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.
The SWAN Chairman argued that, since the state hosted the much glorified National Sports Festival tagged “Gateway Games 2006” and 2009 U-17 World Cup, the growing fortune of the state in sports promotion and development has gone into extinction.
He 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.”