Concluding a 2-day workshop organised by the state government to chart the future of the sporting sector, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has disclosed that his administration would set up a technical committee to domesticate sports policies in the state.
Governor Obaseki revealed that the strategic committee would play an advisory role to ensure that the outcomes of the workshop were executed and that sports in the state regained some pride.
“The committee will advise me on how to design structures, who to hire to do what in sports, how to set goals, targets, rewards, incentives and repercussions when we do not meet our target”, he said.
The governor continued that in fulfilling his electioneering promises, his administration would go round every local government area in the state to identify properties in schools with enough space so that the state could build mini stadiums to train sports men.
Within the next three months, Governor Obaseki declared, his administration would upgrade the swimming pool at Ogbe stadium to produce swimming champions for not only Edo State, but also the nation.
He said: “I want to assure you today that within the next three months we are going to upgrade our swimming pool at Ogbe Stadium and rigorously train our swimmers, who will become champions in not only Edo State, but also Nigeria at large. We can also have a relationship with the international cycling federation to enable us partner and have another international cycling tour in Edo State”.
In addition, he disclosed that his administration would strategically structuralise sports so that only qualified people who would have responsibilities to manage sports in the state.
“I know that technology has changed the role of our sports. Looking at the participants here today, I am tempted to ask how many of us can use technology in sports”.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of Nigerian Women Football League, Aisha Falode commended the foresight of Edo State government to organise the workshop, expressing delight that it would reposition sports in the state.
“We know how Edo was before now, everybody wants Edo to return back to its pride of place in sports in the nation and this move will sure take the state there”, she said.
Also present was former Super Eagles Coach, Austin Eguavon, who said that sports should be separated from politics because it had stagnated the sector.
Themed “Repositioning Sports in Edo State”, the workshop, which held in Benin City was attended by stakeholders in the sector.