Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 24 April 2018 | 1,499 times
The Anambra Coaches Association has urged the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, to reverse his decision to scrap the state Ministry of Sports, saying the decision will stifle sports development in the state.
The association, which kicked against the plan to establish a Sports Commission in place of a Sports Ministry, said the idea was out of tune with present realities even as the Federal Government has scrapped the National Sports Commission (NSC) for a sports ministry.
It rather called for the strengthening and empowering of the various sports associations for a more effective and result-oriented administration of sports in the state.
In a three-page letter signed by the association’s Chairman, Aka Chika, and Secretary, Paul Okechukwu, the association said its members were at loss as to the true state of sports in Anambra.
The letter said: “We humbly wish to bring to your notice and to register our displeasure, the proposed plan to scrap the Ministry of Sports in the state.
“This information which has filtered into the ministry has thrown the entire staff into a state of despondency, confusion and uncertainty since they do not know their fate in this new arrangement.
“This action is viewed with every seriousness, considering the place of sports in Anambra State. Members are at a loss regarding the omission of Ministry of Sports’ from the list of ministries with no commissioner in charge.
“Since the attainment of ministry status in the year 2000, lots of laurels have been won and lives of many sportsmen and women transformed for good.
“Government will be able to develop sports through the use of various sports associations earlier inaugurated by the immediate past Commissioner for Youth and Youth Entrepreneurship and Sports Development which are yet to resume duties.”
While noting that scraping the sports ministry will take sports development many years back, the association maintained that the state’s sports development would also be plunged in a reverse gear saying, “It will seem like the biblical going back to Egypt.”
The Coach’s Association recalled that in the year 2000, the entire staff of the defunct Anambra State Sports Council were absorbed into the Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure they became an integral part of the State Civil Service adding that the action laid to rest many years of job insecurity, arbitrary payment of salaries, personal emoluments and lack of gratuity/pension for their retirees.
According to the association, the move motivated staff to give their best to the state in terms of talent development, grassroots coaching, discovery and nurturing of great athletes who have contributed their quota in bringing the state to the limelight in sports.
Continuing, the statement said: “Most states, and even the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, have scrapped their Sports Commissions and NSC (as the case may be) in favour of having ministries.”
“No meaningful height would be achieved in sports without adequate funding and the development of standard infrastructure.
“This includes a standard stadium, complete with an indoor sports hall and hostel facilities for camping and community playgrounds being built across the state.
“We also need sponsorship for state athletes to both national and international competitions where they will win laurels and bring back honour to the state.”
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