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Uniport partners with Vandyke or digital sports development

By Onyinyechukwu Agwubilo
25 August 2020   |   2:53 am
The University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) and its sports institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Vandyke Sportscom to promote education, sports development

The University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) and its sports institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Vandyke Sportscom to promote education, sports development, research, training and nurturing of athletes to national and global limelight.

The MOU was signed by Professor Stephen Okodudu, Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Emeka Enyadike, CEO of Vandyke Sports, Professor Ken Anugweje, Director, University of Port Harcourt Sports Institute and Mario Leo, Founder and CEO of RESULT Sports from Germany (International Technical Partner of Vandyke Sports).

The ceremony was held virtually in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Johannesburg, South Africa and Buedingen, Germany.

Essentially, the MOU will create a platform at the Uniport Sports Institute for mutual creation, development and sharing of best practices and expertise in carrying out a series of sports industry capacity building programmes, developing digital sports and technological solutions for sports performance, fan engagement, digital marketing and communications, artificial intelligence and enhancing competencies for emerging sports industry professions.

It will research into the challenges faced by athletes, clubs, leagues and federations, exploring opportunities for international partnerships and sponsorships and the establishment of Vandyke International Sports Academy with programmes in football, basketball, rugby, cricket, mixed martial arts, coaches, umpires and referees academies adopting the impressive international franchises and partnerships that Vandyke Sports already have in its fold.

Speaking on a presentation made by Vandyke Sports to the board of the Uniport Sports Institute, Chairman, Uniport Sports Institute Board, Professor Emeritus Nimi Briggs, said: “The evolution of sports development in the University of Port Harcourt has been progressive which has manifested in excellent facilities and impressive performance by the University’s athletes. Our focus now with this partnership is to transform the University into the hub of Sports in Africa.”

Professor Ken Anugweje, Director, Uniport Sports Institute, added:
“Sports development, sports performance and the business of sports have been disrupted with so many new technologies and we want to keep in touch but also serve as a catalyst for home grown innovations and this collaboration with Vandyke Sports and its partners is borne out of this desire.”

Enyadike of Vandyke Sports described the new partnership as a furtherance to long existing relationship between the university and Vandyke.

“We have enjoyed a long relationship with the University through our sponsorship of the Uniport Football Team and the success they achieved over 20 years ago.

“We are delighted to work with what is already a world class institute and together with our global partners, we aim to project world class sports industry programs and athlete development through our Vandyke Sports Academy and develop the first sports innovation hub on the African continent.”

Mario Leo of RESULT Sports spoke on the benefits and gains the partners will harvest through the programmes.

“It’s an incredible milestone and honourable moment to bring our vision and the initiative.

“Digital Sports Africa, the venture between Vandyke Sports and RESULT Sports, will bring all its digital knowledge and experience to Uniport Sports Institute and we want to extend the thought leadership and centre of excellence at Uniport Sports Institute with our digital mindset, knowhow, expertise and educational modules.

“Academic science, research and pragmatic market experience will be offered and integrated. This partnership will be one of a kind and the momentum of change for the African continent to unlock all its potential,” Leo summed up.

The Uniport Sports Institute and Vandyke Sports will co-host the maiden West Africa Sports Forum later in the year.