By Chimezie Anaso
Awka, May 25, 2023 Patrick-Estate Onyedum, Chairman of Anambra State Sports Development Commission has said that Anambra will be the best destination for scouts of young sporting talents.
Onyedum said this at the opening ceremony of the Anambra School Sports Festival and unveiling of Anambra Sports Solution Initiative (ANSSI) Logo in Awka on Thursday.
He thanked Gov. Chukwuma Soludo for graciously approving the festival which he said was the first School Sports Festival in Anambra State after more than 10 years.
He said a total of 610 primary and secondary schools across the 21 local government areas of Anambra enrolled to participate in this festival.
“This grassroots development programme is borne out of our desire to take Anambra back to its days of glory in sports when we produced national champions in different sporting events including the CKC 1977 team that won the world Academicals in Dublin.
“We are confident that at the end of this tournament we would have raised a generation of young athletes that would surprise the country at the National Youth Games scheduled for September this year and by extension at the National Sports Festival scheduled for Ogun state next year,” he said.
Onyedum said the commission had enlisted 30 young athletes in different sporting events for monthly training support and placed six of them on a monthly stipend of N20,000.
He said the commission would not only use sports as a tool for empowering the youth but ensured the state became home and number one talent hunt destination for national and international scouts in different sporting events.
On her part, the Commissioner for Education, Prof Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, said sports was a crucial component of the education curriculum and that the return of the festival was a positive development.
Chuma-Udeh commended the commission for the bold initiative while urging the participating schools to compete positively and according to the rules.
“There are three areas of development of a child and these are cognitive, affective and psychomotor. These three hinge the development of a normal human being,; they must be put to use to get complete education.
“Mr Governor is desirous of raising sustainable citizens and sports apart from having health value also has economic values, when well developed, sports can give a child a lifelong empowerment,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr TonyCollins Nwabunwanne, Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, said the ensuing sports revolution under Onyedum had been long awaited.
Nwabunwanne, who represented the governor at the event, said sports enhanced academic performance, mental stability and self esteem as well as assist the child’s social life.
He said the festival would be wholly owned by the various Local Government Councils and that they would give it the best support possible.
“In the next few years, we want to see some of these children represent Nigeria at Continental and world stages in their chosen sports.
“I encourage you students to take it seriously because Mr Governor is interested in the festival,” he said.
Nwabunwanne later unveiled the ANSSI logo on behalf of the governor.