Educationist tasks FG on sports development
Principal, Federal Government College Ijanikin, Dr Olufunmilayo Essien has called on the federal government to pay more attention to sporting activities in secondary schools in the country as part of efforts to discover budding athletes that would represent the country at the world stage.
Essien who spoke with journalists on the sideline of the college’s 41st annual inter house sports competition said the country could be a hub of sports if stakeholders would focus more on the colleges by organising periodic championships among the schools as well as seek means of supporting and encouraging the young athletes.
“Colleges like ours are places where talents abound in diverse areas of sports. For instance, our college in recent times has turned out to be breeding ground for all sporting activities in this country.
“That is why we are calling on all major stakeholders like the Ministry of Sports, states sports’ councils and others to step up efforts in the development of sports at the grassroots level in order to discover budding talents that could reposition the country globally.
“They should always live up to their responsibilities by scouting and fishing out young athletes who have done well in the various sports at occasions such as this so that they can groom and then showcase them at the appropriate time. More often than not, you only find out that these children participate in and excel in their respective areas of interest, sometimes they even break new world record but this only end up here in the college and this should not be the case.
“Like my College took the first position out of the 104 Unity Colleges at the 2017 FEDCOL Games in Jos, a biannual competition, with some of my athletes world records. Like I had a boy who participated at that competition in both the 100 and 200 meters and break new world records but sadly up until now, nobody has shown interest in him or noticed him, just nothing has been heard about him,” Essien lamented.
She said it was sad to see such talent go unnoticed as it will go a long way in discouraging other young talents who strive to achieve same feat.
“If the country hoped to excel internationally, it must look inwards, support and encourage sports at the grassroots especially the colleges,” she said.
The Principal added that sports on its own is therapeutic adding that it was beneficial to the individual in many ways, just as it helps soothe the body and the mind.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono said that the excitement seen on the faces of the athletes was a reflection of the mood brought about by the competition and the great love that abound in the college, which is the ministry’s flagship college for a coeducational learning in the country.
Echono, who was represented by the ministry’s Director, Basic and Secondary Education Dr Lami Amodu, added that the ministry and its present leadership recognised games and school sports as an integral part of the school co-curriculum and that no school could claim to have trained a child holistically without focusing on their psychomotor which provides for the physical well being of the learners.