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Set up a presidential council for sport, Adelabu tells Buhari

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Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take a more radical approach to the issue of sport development as he did in other areas by setting up what he called ‘Presidential Council’ for Sports.

Adelabu, who played club football for the then IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan told The Guardian that sport has the inherent ability to change people’s life and the quality of life lived by people.

Now a sports consultant, Adelabu said: “The benefits we get from sports participation will be determined by what we want to use sports to address in the society. In as much as Nigerians are sports loving people, we are yet to fully
realise how we can enjoy the benefits of sports participation to improve our lives in all ramifications.”

The former manager of Eko United FC further stated it is the expectations of Nigerians that Buhari will take a more radical approach to the issue of sport development as he did in other areas of the nation’s development.

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“There should be a move by Mr President to encourage Nigerians to engage in recreational activity at all levels so that more people can participate in sports to improve the quality of their lives. Our slogan is “Fit People, Happy people”.

To fully tap into the unique opportunities in sports, Adelabu said: “It is important for us to broaden our dimension of participation, in order to fully engage both the interest of the sedentary people and also maximize our professional approach to sports. In the light of ever increasing popularity of sports and wealth creation, it is important for the government to improve our frontier in Human Resources management, Human capacity Building, Research Development and also engaging the services of Elite Athletes and people with relevant professional qualifications to start specific projects that will boost government objectives for sport development, taking cognizance of the population of our country.”

According to Adelabu, the Presidential Council for Sport will consist of experts in sports science and Elite sports men and women. “The responsibility of the council will include formulating position statements that will guide the people in engaging in recreational activities and competitive sports at all levels. This is necessary to help people improve their quality of life and reduce the incidence of hypertension and other health problems.

“To carry out research on economic impact of sporting events in Nigeria for the past 30years to enable us access our financial commitment and the impact on the social economic status of the society. This will enable us to be accurate about our budget proposal, the need to host future evens, ability to present credible bidding strategy and the ultimate economic impact on the society.

“The council will be empowered to scrutinize all federations and ensures that our sport policy is adhered to and executed to the letter.”

“The Military, Police, Customs, Air Force, Navy etc will benefit. There is a grave concern about the readiness of the above sectors in responding to emergencies. Many of the officers do not have the physical attributes and fitness necessary to cope with the kind of situations we saw after the election. I witnessed a situation whereby about six policemen were struggling to restrain one single person. As an Exercise Physiologist, I think there is a need for advanced preparation and development in the above sector of our society because of increasing threat to life and properties and as a way of being relevant in the global quest for peace and security,” he stated.

Adelabu further stated that the Presidential Council for Sport will engage in comprehensive campaign to develop a
data base for the physical, physiological, psychological and performance characteristics of the above special groups of people charged with the responsibility of sustaining the security of our society.

“There will be a comprehensive review of various sporting competitions in all institutions of learning, with the aim of accessing to what extent they have achieved government objectives and also to help the government to readjust her funding focus. I started playing for the junior national Team (Flying Eagles of Nigeria) when I was in secondary school and played for the Super Eagles as a postgraduate student. But today, there is no single student in all cadres of our teams including U-17. This has to be corrected.

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