Cross River partners private sector to engage youths in sports
In a bid to boost sports development, Cross River State government has commenced partnership with the private sector.
The Chairman of the Sports Commission, Chief Orok Duke said already the state government through the sports commission is partnering with the Royal International Farms and Estates Limited, a privately-owned company, to flag off the first Calabar Open Taekwondo and Table Tennis championships.
Duke, while speaking to the newsmen yesterday in Calabar, charged private investors in the state to take a sport and sponsor it so as to engage the teeming youths with talents.
He said the open taekwondo and table tennis championships slated for between January 19 and 21 and February 8 to 10 respectively will attract youths participation from different areas as the championships are timed at discovering new talents to be groomed for national and international competitions.
The sports commission boss also said there was the need for corporate and individual support in the development of sports, as government could no longer shoulder every responsibility.
“It is obvious that government cannot do it alone, so, we appreciate any corporate body that offers assistance. The concentration of the sponsors of this taekwondo and table tennis championships is in the grassroots.
“We have already contacted the Akwa Ibom State government which is willing to provide some of the materials needed.”
Duke also disclosed that the commission had identified 43 sports that would be promoted, adding that taekwondo and table tennis championships would be the starting points.
He said that other championships lined up between January and June this year included the Prof. Ben Ayade Under-15 Football Championship and Etubom Charles Duke Lawn Tennis Championship among others.
Speaking on behalf of the championships sponsors, General Manager, Royal International Farms and Estates Limited, Mr. Usen Umoh, said the events would positively engage talented youths.
He said that budding stars and young talents are expected to participate at the taekwondo event, which is the first in Calabar.
According to him, the table tennis championship will involve participants from primary and secondary schools across the state.
Umoh stated that the sponsorship for the event was also in partnership with First Royal Microfinance Bank and Triple Star Printing Press Limited and “we intend to use the two championships to discover new talents in the state and groom them for national, continental and international glories.”