More Stakeholders’ Participation Needed to Boost Sports Devt. – Kogi Govt.

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By Stephen Adeleye
There is the need for more partnership with the private sector, communities, individuals and parents to boost sports development, a Kogi government official said on Wednesday in Lokoja.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Rosemary Osikoya, said this while a judoka, Emmanuel Ejeh, was being presented to her.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ejeh, who is an SS3 student of United Evangelical Church Secondary School in Lokoja, had won a bronze medal at a national event.
His handlers had said the athlete sponsored himself to represent the state at the National Open Judo (NOJ) Championship held in Port Harcourt some days ago.
The commissioner said she was excited with Ejeh’s success and selfless effort at the competition, urging other athletes to emulate Ejeh’s act of patriotism in spite of all odds.
She restated Gov. Yahaya Bello’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for sports development and sponsorship at the primary and secondary school levels in the state.
“Let us adopt a holistic analysis of our sports development efforts and zero in on the role of parents and communities for a much-needed paradigm shift.
“I am very excited that stakeholders’ involvement in the education sector is taking an interesting dimension with a reawakening and ownership.
“The role of government as facilitator, policy hub, integrator and coordinator is being refocused,” Osikoya said.
The commissioner therefore urged all talented students and others in sports in the state to come out and identify with the ministry, reassuring them of government’s readiness to support them.
“Sports can elevate one to stardom if opportunity is well utilised. Ejeh should not give up on his dream, but strive hard in his training and academic endeavours.’’
She commended Ejeh’s coach, Kogi State Judo Coach Suleiman Musa, for a job-well-done, urging him to partner with the ministry to discover and train more youths in the game.
The commissioner later gave to Ejeh on behalf of the State Government a refund of the sum of N50,000 he spent on logistics at the competition.
She disclosed that Gov. Bello himself would officially host the athlete soon.
Also, while speaking with newsmen, Ejeh praised God for the success and thanked his coach for mentoring him, saying he (Musa) was his greatest mentor and motivator.
Ejeh added that his success at the championship had granted him an automatic ticket to represent the country at the upcoming African Youth Games in Algeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the continental games is holding from July 18 to July 29.
Earlier, the coach had thanked the commissioner for receiving the medalist saying the gesture would spur others to work hard.
Musa, however, urged the state government to provide funds and facilities for the training of more youths in the state.
NAN reports that Ejeh had said he sold his phone to sponsor himself to represent the state in Port Harcourt to win a bronze medal.

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