Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Abigor Wants National Summit for Sport

Chairman of Warri Wolves, Godwin Abigor, who is an ardent follower of sports globally has said that only a combination of sports ministry and that of education will drive any effort to resurrect Nigerian sports from its present rot.

Abigor insists that a policy to this effect is necessary since administrators have failed to heed the advice of technocrats who advocate return to the grassroots for sports to grow in Nigeria. Abigor says "school sports and not proliferation of academies will make sports in Nigeria greater than it was even in the said glory days of Nigerian sports."

He wants Nigeria to emulate Jamaica in making physical education compulsory in secondary schools and says "if we have a policy to revive sports in secondary schools I give you only five years after that and you can't believe the impact we would have made in world sports."

He recalled the past when secondary schools produced international athletes like Nduka Odizor, Comfort Ighagbuan, Charlton Ehizuelen, Moses Egbusien, Innocent Egbunike, Henry Nwosu, Stephen Keshi etc, noting that Nigeria will be great again in sports if sports is made a tradition in schools.

"Our biggest problem is our inability to be consistent in what we are good at. We easily abandon the things that we are good at otherwise why should we allow sports in schools to die? Now people talk of academies which are not being run well but our greatest academies should be the schools.

There, with the sports tradition in place, we will produce world athletes. Jamaica is doing it. We did it in the past. We can still do it again. If we need the 36 states to hold a summit to push for a policy that will revive sports in schools let's hold such a summit and wake up from this slumber that is killing us.

We abandoned UBE and now we lack professional teachers. We abandoned school sports and our sports is down. Even games masters we don't have again. School sports suits our environment and culture, so let's go for it. That is one sure way out."

Abigor was so passionate about this that he volunteered to continue to drum it hard on policy makers " until the right thing is done."

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