By Segun Folarin

Sports administrators should invest resources in regional competitions to foster peace and promote national development.

A cross-section of sports enthusiasts canvassed this in Abeokuta while speaking with Radio Nigeria on the occasion of the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace. 

Correspondent Olusegun Folarin reports that the sports lovers were optimistic that, if harnessed effectively, sports would help to check criminal tendencies among the youths.

Sport remains a universal language and powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding and is capable of bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions.

The United Nations’ proclamation of 6th April every year as International Day of Sports for Development and Peace is an opportunity to recognize the positive roles of sports and physical activities in the lives of individuals and communities, across the globe.

In Nigeria, sports, especially football, had over the years proved to be a unifying factor, connecting the citizens, regardless of tribal, ethnic and religious beliefs.

A vivid example was the passionate support shown by Nigerians during the African Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire where the people rose in support of the Super Eagles despite the prevailing economic challenges confronting the nation.

In separate contributions, Acting General Manager, Gateway United Football Club, Mr Niyi Soleye and a Sports Administrator, Alhaji Adeniji Adebayo affirmed that there had been situations where sports championships were organized among local communities as part of efforts to broker peace and settle disagreements. 

Also, the President, the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of Nigeria, Mr Seyi Johnson and a Sports Psychologist, Pastor Paul Bankole, who advocated increased attention by the government, said sports could enhance the social and economic status of individuals, especially the physically challenged, in the bid to reduce Street begging.

A  former National Publicity Secretary of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice, Dr Ademolu Okuneye described sports as a powerful instrument that could be deployed in resolving conflicts in communities and also serve as economic advancement in the society.

Other contributors also applauded the global theme for this year’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, “Sports for the Promotion of Peaceful and Inclusive Societies”, noting the need for relevant authorities to promote public-private partnerships aimed at ensuring sustainable growth in the sports industry.

Subscribe to our Telegram and YouTube Channels and also join our Whatsapp Update Group


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *