An eight-man committee on Assessment and Evaluation of all sporting facilities in the country has been inaugurated.
The committee headed by Dr Agboola Adewale Dixon voluntarily offered to carry out a comprehensive inspection of all national mini sporting facilities in the country and generate an
information data bank for the ministry.
According to Dr Dixon, the report will enable the ministry to know how many facilities there are in the country, their locations, their present state and what is needed to make them functional.
“This data could be used within or outside the country for the world to know what we have. We’ve already done some research work. We’ve gone round to take some photographs showing the various mini sports complexes in the country.
“They’re about eighteen in number. Some are yet to be completed while the Afuze National Training Center, Mambila Middle and long distance training center and the Rayfield sports center, which produced many Olympians and national record holders have been lying fallow for many years”, Dr Dixon explained.
Also speaking at the inauguration, a member of the committee and also a journalist, Clement Nwankpa said that the country’s inability to win medals at the last Olympics was due to the absence of functional training facilities.
He stressed the need for every local government council to have at least one functional sports center.
“The initial concept of mini sports centers was to have them in the rural areas. Then you have the community development centers in each senatorial zone and at the state level.
“The National Sports Commission is empowered through the National Sports Policy of Nigeria 4.9.6 to ensure that there are adequate facilities across the country. An athlete is discovered at the mini center, he is owned by the community development center then when he’s ready to represent Nigeria at the All Africa Games, he uses the elite athletes hostel.
“The elite athletes’ hostels have been abandoned and are obsolete. That’s why this ‘Fireworks’ team needs your empowerment to get this data as soon as possible and also get the mini sports centers up and running”.
Inaugurating the committee, the Hon Minister for Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung praised the group for their patriotism and commitment to restoring the dignity of sports in Nigeria.
“Out of self volition, you have identified a peculiar challenge of sports development and decided to offer yourselves to go round the country and collate statistics and data, and write a comprehensive report on the state of facilities in the country.
“You have already undertaken preliminary investigations and you have provided pictures and images of the situation on ground. Knowing the state of these facilities will enable us to take action on how to put them back to use”, Dalung said.
Other members of the committee include Dr Jimlas Opeyemi Ogunsakin, who is a public health physician, Arc Bose Idegbesor, Ezra Marcus Madaki, Engr Fred Onuorah, Victor Ugboh while Barrister Ikechukwu Ikogwe will serve as secretary and legal adviser to the group.
They are expected to also examine the sports health system, clinics, anti-doping centers, rehabilitative, curative and preventive areas of sports medicine to be integrated into these sports facilities as well as quick intervention to injury prevention which are not in place at the various mini sports centers.
They have three weeks to submit their report.