Ezindu Okay-Lawrence (ACFF)
I left off last week’s article where I shared my displeasure with the government agencies saddled with the responsibilities of seeing that more outskirt sports complexes are developed in the nation’s capital, and their overlook of one of the most important agencies or rather actions that will get the teeming youth engaged and employed massively if managed well.
In the last weeks, I have had to witness the over use of the semi facelifted playing turfs in Abuja, that’s the Area-3 Sports complex and Area10 old Parade ground. Only Area-3 playing complex is manageable at this point, the Area-10 grass is so bumpy to the point that I think even non league sides should not be approved to use it, unless we don’t care much about their careers and the injuries that may come from using such place.
These are areas I desire that there be a change. A development of outskirts pitches and Or centers will aid the process of discovery of more street grassroot talents, and offer freedom of time for the maintenance, resurfacing or allowing the grasses of the other fields like (Area-10) to grow properly and be maintained appropriately, without sporting activities being put on hold.
I know the situation with lack of open fields and landed properties in the nation’s capital due to massive development and expansion, but I think the government can always find a way around, especially when the outskirt towns are not yet fully occupied bought and developed. Fixing a Sports Center plan in those places will help to bring government’s presence & rapid development in those areas.
I also hold the opinion that it will help employ more state workers plus help in reduction of street roaming of jobless youths.
There are many benefits of having sports CENTERS in the outskirt towns of the city. Therefore I implore those on whose table the bulk of the decision lies to please consider even partnering with the private sector to see centers developed to the benefit of our football and sports in general.
Another way to achieve this is looking into numerous government schools in all the outskirt towns and giving a facelift to their sports facilities and playing turfs.
The Schools are actually one place that pure grassroots talents abound, and can be spotted early. But in recent years, school sports has been relegated and almost going extinct. Sad to say though.
The government bodies, agencies and the sports ministry must do all withing its powers to revive school sports and inculcate the attitude of involvement in Sports activities in young children for the benefit of the future generations. This will help in providing proper foundational development and growth through the ladders of progres in this (Sports) sector.
Again I remind us that, not every child will excel in academics, therefore it is important that we provide alternatives for many who may not have their talents revealed in academic class learnings. Sports is that alternative and it’s important we are intentional in its development.
In other climes, as we see around the globe, sports is given considerable attention and massive support just like the military, because it is one sector that unites the nation across lines especially in a nation as divided in recent times as ours.
The leaders of ministries must understand that this sector can help to propagate the gospel of unity, one nationhood and Peace among warring tribes and people. When an Osimhen scores, the fan in far away Sokoto jumps , the one in the waters of Bayelsa leaps and so are those in Lagos and Abịa States.
The benefits of proper sports development is enormous and the country only has much to benefit from it than to lose.
It is my prayer that we will drive this sector through the right tracks of development and properly Position sports on the pedestal it deserves as far as nation’s development is concerned.