Former Team Nigeria Captain, Dr Yusuf Alli has called on government at all levels to enact a policy that will make athletics compulsory for all primary and secondary school pupils.

Dr Alli made the call in while delivering a lecture entitled “The Downturn of Nigeria’s Athletics Fortunes” at the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN Week in Abeokuta.

The retired long jumper who is also the General Manager of Lagos City Marathon expressed worry over showing too much attention on the elite athletes at the expense of young and promising Nigerian athletes, said such trend must stop.

He said for Nigeria to return to the golden era, government must ensure the return of school sports from primary to university levels as well as ensure adequate facilities for the athletes to train with.

Dr Alli who also identified lack of funds as one of the reasons athletics had remained stagnant in country solicited the support of the stakeholders especially sports journalists towards the revival of the athletics fortune in the country.

In a remark, a board member, Federal Character Commission, Mr Abiodun Akinlade who was represented by a director in the commission, Mr Ademuyiwa Adeniran described sports as a veritable income-generating engagement that could contribute immensely to the growth of the nation’s economy.

Mr Akinlade said there was need to continue to remind the government of its roles at providing sports infrastructure, funding and regulatory framework that would engender an enabling environment for sports to flourish.

Earlier, the Ogun State Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Alhaji Hakeem Akintunde said the association would continue to engage key stakeholders in the sports sector in its efforts to develop sports in the country.

Olusegun Folarin


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