Posted by By Tony Amadi - The Port Harcourt Telegraph on
Delighted with the level to which the just-concluded NUGA games hosted by the University of Port Harcourt have pushed up Sports development in the institution, the Rivers State Sports Commissioner,...
Delighted with the level to which the just-concluded NUGA games hosted by the University of Port Harcourt have pushed up Sports development in the institution, the Rivers State Sports Commissioner, Chief Allwell Onyesoh, has reiterated that the state government is bent on giving serious attention to sports in order to offer gainful employment to talented youths.
In a Press briefing held at the media centre of the school, Saturday, December 4, 2004, prior to the closing ceremony of the games, the commissioner noted that the games have given a face-lift to the institution. He extolled the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Nimi Briggs, for a successful hosting describing him as very dynamic and a good mobilizer who knows what to do at any given time.
He said: "For you to put up this kind of structure, you really have to have a need for it. The VC here is very, very dynamic; he is a good mobilizer and knows what to do at any given time. It is the intention of the state government to give attention to Sports, because Sports is the only way that you can reach so many people at the same time. A lot of people are emotionally involved if it is Sports; and we are looking at it as a vehicle for re-uniting the people, making them relax, and creating employment for talented youths".
The honourable commissioner further sated that the state government will do anything possible to replicate the structures on ground at Uniport in the state owned University of science and technology, pointing out that as soon as the school Authority signals readiness to uplift sports development in the institution, the state government would step in. He, however, stated that this would take a couple of years to mature.
On the Rumoured relocation of Dolphin's Chief Coach, Musa Abdulahi, for N10m, the sports Boss dismissed the possibility of losing the coach to any rival club for whatever amount. He claimed that no club can snatch the players or officials of the two teams in the state (Sharks and Dolphin), considering the level of interest the state government has in the two sides.
"We have four of the finest coaches in Nigeria here, two for each side. You have Musa Abduallahi and Philip Buamah for Dolphin, and Solomon Ogbeide and Shuaibu Amoudu for Sharks, and these are intact". He claimed that it is much easier for the teams to take in players from other clubs than to lose to those clubs, and declared that his ministry would do all it can to ensure that these sides win.
Chief Onyesoh debunked allegation of promoting football alone, and blamed Sports writers who do not cover other events in their reports. He alleged that a haul of trophies (with hardly enough space for it) fills Government House with hardly anybody reporting about them, while even friendly matches by football clubs are reported in almost all media houses.
He stressed the importance of maintaining sports facilities, and restated government preparedness to consistently imbibe the maintenance culture, stating how much he cherishes his redeployment from education ministry to the ministry of Sports just because of the programmes he has in mind to execute here in the new ministry. He further stressed his belief in a ministry of education and sports because these, according to him, go together always.
Grassroots, football development in the state, he remarked, is at pace-setting level (for other states of country). He mentioned the street soccer competition and the Harold Dappa Biriye Cup Championship for local government areas as key tournaments to achieve this, amongst many other championships.
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