*Sports is not about medals and trophies – Odegbami
By Olajide Fashikun, Benin-City
Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has promised his administration will implement the outcomes of the one-day sports conference to reposition the industry in the state thereby returning the lost glory and leadership place she used to occupy in Nigeria.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Comrade Phillip Shuaibu, at the dinner organised to welcome delegates in Benin-City on Monday evening said, “as a government we want to reposition sports in our state. We need to be leaders and rekindle the glory Edo used to have in global sport.”
“Sports is business. Government is not designed for business. Therefore, we need to know what structures we need to put in place for the private sector to play its roles well. We need to regenerate school sports, build facilities to propel our children and youths to take to sports again.”
“By the time we leave government, we want to leave a thriving sports industry that will effectively and effectively engage our youths, create employment opportunities, reduce youth restiveness and criminality, and provide recreation to boost citizen health.”
Chairman of the conference, Chief Patrick Olusegun Odegbami said, “for the Edo state government to gather the quality of human resources present here shows a great sense of commitment to deliver this task.
“General Samuel Osaigbovwo Ogbemudia had laid the foundation that was lost in transit. With the right political will to implement the recommendations coming out of this conference, soon we shall be celebrating the outcomes of the best gathering of Nigeria’s sports personalities.”
Sports is not about medals and trophies. It is more about citizen health, education, wellness, social impact. Every child and youth should have the opportunity to play and enjoy recreation. The sports industry in Nigeria is worth more than N1trillion. The state must tap into the rich reservoir of human resources available to her in her former international athletes.
These processes won’t be complete without the reinvigoration of the Ogbe tennis hard court tournament. This is not a tennis championship. It is an engagement. Today in the world, more than half of the 25million followers of tennis go to the arena not to watch the tennis matches but enjoy the atmosphere. Please, Mr Governor, I urge a revival of the Ogbe hard court tennis tourney.
Taekwondo Olympic medallist, Chika Chukwumerije, did a presentation to the audience which included some of the best in every facet of sports in the country present.