By Femi Adefioye, Lagos
The President of Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), Nasiru Gawuna, has urged the Federal Government to create enabling environment for grassroots sports development in the country.
Gawuna said on Monday in Abuja that government needed to take grassroots development in the sports sector more serious, with a target at schools sports.
He said while he was aware of the harsh economic realities in the country and government’s efforts in that direction, he was still sure something could still be achieved.
“YSFON is worried about the lack of sports infrastructure in the schools, including human resources.
“But we are assuring that we will give our expertise in total support of the government if the introduction of Physical and Health Education teachers/coaches in the schools from the primary level is given the needed attention.
“We believe government’s target in organising Youth Games will yield more dividends if we start from the most vital level in the discovery of great talents in sports,” Gawuna added.
The YSFON President also advised government to give its backing to the introduction of compulsory sports tax laws for corporate bodies to invest in the development of sports in the country.
He said it was tragic that the construction of many sports facilities spread across the country had not been completed, even after more than 10 years of their being initiated.
“Looking into this will go a long way to help in the pursuit of this administration’s will to correct anomalies, if the projects are reconsidered through thorough investigation to enable the teeming youths in the respective areas make appropriate use of the facilities.”
Gawuna also disclosed that YSFON needed the support of well-meaning
Nigerians and corporate bodies to enable it host most of its competitions which would enhance youth empowerment through sports.
He said over N40million was needed for the Federation’s three major competitions.
Gawuna also expressed optimism that the YSFON Academy in Calabar would
continue to produce talented football players for national glory.
While commending the Super Falcons for winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations by beating hosts Cameroon, Gawuna noted that the women deserved to be well appreciated for their gallant efforts.
“Judging from the circumstances which surrounded the team before the tournament, their victory in the finals was an indicator that Nigerians can excel in spite of several odds,’’ he said.