Police advocacy group under the auspices of Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV), has urged government at all levels to establish high performance community sports centres to serve as athletes’ bank where they can be discovered, developed and harnessed.
The National Coordinator of POCACOV, CSP Ebere Amaraizu, made the call on Friday in Enugu while speaking with newsmen on positive and futuristic way to engage youths gainfully for societal benefit.
Amaraizu, a certified Olympic Sports Administrator, also called for effective sports policy that would encourage administration of sports by professionals and use of professional/qualified sports coaches to implement planned programme of action on sports development
According to him, professional/qualified sports coaches and administrators should lead the sports sector rather than the usual all comers’ affairs and in order to achieve the desired goals.
“There should be effective coordination by the Athletes Development Centers of the National Institute For Sports (NIS) and active collaboration with Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Federal Ministry of Education (School Sports), community leaders, faith-based organizations and others.
“This will help in the effective mapping of these young minds who are energetic and showing signs of skills in various sporting events to be harnessed.Iñt will also serve as a platform for alternative meaningful pathways to engagement and especially to those who are vulnerable and at risk of joining membership of Organized Criminal Groups (OCGS), unlawful societies for serious and organized crime,” Amaraaizu said.
He said that there was an urgent need for governments, stakeholders and multi-agencies to come up with high performance Community Sports Centers across Nigeria to replace the outdated Games Villages inorder to achieve an effective youths’ engagement,
“The establishment of high performance Community Sports Centres will afford those veritable platforms that encourage the giving back to the society philosophy through transfer of skills, knowledge and values to our young minds using the instrumentality of community sports.
“The move will thereby turn them (youths) into National and International Sports champions as well as a great socio-economic benefit to the society as obtainable in other countries of the world.
“It will help to promote positive behaviours and creating a platform of life changing opportunities for our youths. The High performance Community Sports Centre will serve as spring board and athletes’ bank where they can be discovered, developed and harnessed.
“The Centre will also provide veritable opportunities for all athletes to imbibe Olympic educational values of excellence, respect and friendship as well as core values of sports such as fair-play, social justice, self discovery, and discipline among others,” he said.
According to him, sports remains a means of enhancing education, creation of employment opportunities, instrument for driving National Ideology, promotion of gender equality and promotion of social mobilization, harmony, national integration, and strengthening of resilience among all.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama