Don advocates repositioning of institutional sports for national development
A professor of Human Kinetics, Sports and Health Education,, Prof. Clement Fasan, has called for a holistic approach towards the repositioning of sports development and management in universities.
Fasan, who was former dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, noted that for institutional sports to thrive, it has to be more competitive and must attract investment.
He spoke at the 26th Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) scientific conference themed: “Repositioning institutional sports for excellent national and global impact,” held at the Nurudeen Alao Auditorium,
Fasan pointed out that a strategic approach would maximise the contribution of sports to national development.
The professor added that for effective change in university sports, community sports should be handled at the local and state levels, where individuals and corporate institutions would have the opportunity to invest as well as sponsor sporting activities, while the Federal Government should focus on international sports.
He said: “Once the community is involved, a lot of talents would be discovered and the avenue for wealth creation would be established. An opportunity to lift our youths from poverty to prosperity and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country could be harnessed.”
Fasan added that repositioning sports would aid sporting activities in universities, including NUGA competition and would also make national and global impact.
He said this could be achieved only if sports would be part of the curriculum and NUGA could be self-financing, diverse, inclusive, competitive and target-driven.
Fasan pointed out that that is the practice in more developed countries, saying Nigeria has the potential to attain similar heights.
He listed factors such as impact, legacy and sustainability as some of the key factors missing in institutional sports.
The university teacher added that for institutional sports to thrive, it has to be more competitive and must attract investment.
Besides, he stressed the need to re-invigorate the personnel and change the operational mechanism to reflect present-day business model without necessarily affecting the objectives.
The professor said UNILAG had succeeded in changing the narrative about NUGA for good by setting a higher standard for future hosts of the competition.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, in his remarks, said the effort to host the 26th NUGA games started in 2018 but was halted by challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, among others.
Ogundipe said UNILAG had featured and excelled in most of the editions and had hosted three previous NUGA games in 1968, 1978 and 1998.