The Chairman of Anambra State sports development commission, Tony Oli, said the state government has mapped out plans to take sports development to a new height.
The chairman, while speaking to newsmen in Abuja yesterday revealed the level of grassroots sports development across the states, adding that that the mandate is to ensure that sports become pivotal in the state in line with Governor Willie Obiano vision to see that the state turns a sports hub.
Oli stated that to realise this vision, three key areas infrastructure development, taking sports back to schools and capacity-building of coaches and athletes are fundamental areas that would be looked into.
He noted that affordable facilities would be built in 189 communities and would be made accessible to the people at the grassroots to help them hone their skills. He also said that existing facilities would be refurbished.
He further underscores some of the achievements of the sports commission under his watch.
“Anambra State as the youngest team finished in 12th position at the 2019 National Youth Games where the state made up of the 10 per cent ( 26 out of 256 athletes) of the talents discovered by the federal government to be further trained in the national camps”
“We just finish a maiden edition of the ‘Football Academicals’ tournament in schools as the governor have approved for us to host the second edition already we have acquired 2000 news balls for the project that will have over 60, 000 students participate around the state”.
“ Also we hold a ‘Walk For Life’ programs every first Saturday of every month, our target is to cover 120Km yearly which means 10km every month just to ensure everyone is physically fit in the state”
Oli also revealed that the state would be making a groundbreaking statement when they compete at the 2020 National sports Festival in Edo state.
“After finishing with 5 gold medals in the previous edition, we are going to select our best athletes’ home and abroad to compete at our advantage areas and with the help of the state government who are ready to look into the athletes’ welfare I can assure you that Anambra states will finish among the best in Edo 2020”.
He, however, stated the reason why the state doesn’t have a government owner football club playing in the top flight Nigerian league to what is obtainable in other states.
“If you check any state that have a football club, is the club that carries all the attention of the state, more than other sports, in which all the resources will be thrown into football because they play their match every week. So by the time, we want to handle things related to other sports we will now be looking for money and we don’t want to that”.
“But we are working on a Governor Cup that will link the state with individual independent clubs but we are not looking at having a club for the state” he concluded.