Lekan Badmus is a columnist @Oduduwa News.
The newly-renovated Lekan Salami stadium in Ibadan is a beauty to behold. The transformation is awesome. Without any iota of contradiction, the executive governor of Oyo state; Engineer Seyi Makinde deserves accolades. May God continue to imbue your Excellency with wisdom and other impetus required to steer the sheep of this state. Amen.
Like I once wrote, the state government needs to revive the moribund secondary schools’ sports in the state.
The benefits therein outweigh our apprehension with regards to violence. Apart from the effect sports has on mental, social and emotional states of the students, it is a way of curbing social vices: truancy, thuggery, bullying, and other illicit affairs that are not in tandem with morality and custom.
School children are full of energy. This energies are being diverted to something unproductive; courtesy of their youthful exurberance. With a good program, this energy could be dissipated to something valuable.
Our children are filled with untapped talents and potentials. These talents need to be discovered and nurtured for the development of the students and the state at large.
Truth be told. Many of them would eventually leave academics for vocational and sports. These disciplines could earn them means of livelihood. It would also bring fame.
From schools sports, state and national athletes could be discovered. It would also attract foreign scouts.
The way to go about it is simple. The competition could be handled by the ministry of education and professional Physical and Health Education Teachers. They have the technical know-how. The only area in which the ministry of sports could come in is the use of the facility during the finals.
Funding could be through the government and other companies within the state.
The fear of violence and acrimony could be tamed through a standing rule against mercenaries. If non-students are smuggled into the competition, the objective would be defeated. Mercenaries are easily drafted in a situation where officials of the ministry of sports are engaged in officiating.
Preliminaries could be played at neutral grounds to forestall home advantage, local interference and probable attacks.
On a finality, the state could set aside a week for the program. Matches could be played concurrently at various centers while the entire tournament could be round robin or straight elimination method otherwise known as knockout.
Rejuvenation of schools’ sports is not impossible.
Oyo state is the pacesetters. We lead….others follow.
Comrade Lekan Badmus is also Sports and Education Consultant.