Group promotes youth development through grassroots sports
A group, 5E Concept Sports Management and Development, has joined other stakeholders to promote grassroots sports development in Lagos communities.
Speaking on the programme, 5E Concepts Team Lead, Sports Management and Development Unit, Mr. Anthony Obi, said: “There has been sports reduction in community participation, understanding of the rules, passion and followership when compared to the past.”
Speaking during a virtual panel discussion on ‘Securing a sustainable and peaceful future for all,’ Obi said sports programmes are powerful tools for grassroots development and learning, adding, “from an early age, sport provides children, including the most marginalised, with opportunity to develop their physical abilities and health, to socialise, to build leadership skills, to foster lifelong learning and to learn and have fun.”
The special guest and head of Child Protection Network (CPN), Lagos State Chapter, Awofeso Rasheed, emphasised the importance of sports to the wellbeing of young people, development of the society and the economy if properly enhanced.
Another member of panel and Executive Secretary, Youth Empowerment Foundation (YEF), Mrs. lwalola Akin Jimoh, said vocational training, internship and business development, especially for young people, are funded by several parties.
According to her, the Foundation have been able to nurtured both boys and girls in some football and taekwondo academies for girls. Akin-Jimoh urged governments at all levels to do more in training and developing young people to reduce youth restiveness and various social vices.
Another speaker, Managing Director, Tswako Sports Foundation, Muhammad Sanni Tswako, said grassroots sports major problem is funding and sponsorship, which is not encouraging participation, development and growth of sports in the country.
He disclosed that Tswako Sports Foundation based in Abuja is basically focused on tennis development, supplying equipment, training young people and encouraging the game in schools.
Speech and Games Director, Andrew Esangbede, advocated promotion of board sports – Scrabble, Chess and others in Yaba Community, Lagos State, both private and public schools. He said the initiative promotes extra-curricular activities, and inter house indoor games, and prepare for competition for both learners (amateurs) and professionals.
Head Coach Tainhills Football Academy, Olawuyi Musheedeen, said grassroots sports is no longer encouraging for many reasons, adding, however, that there could be a change from policy makers.