- BY AYODELE ABERE in Ado-Ekiti•
To ensure sustained funding for sports development in Ekiti State, Ekiti State government is to set up a Sports Trust Fund to boost sports development in the state.
Its mandate will be to interface with public and private sectors to raise funds for sports development in the state.
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports in Ekiti, Mr.Yemi Owoseni, in his speech on Friday at a one-day workshop on new media for members of the state chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).
The Special Assistant to Ekiti state Governor on New Media, Mr Abiodun Borisade who was represented by Messrs Ayodele Akande and Tosin Adara were the resource persons at training work with the theme “Use of new media techniques in Sports Journalism”.
Owoseni said the move became necessary, as only government cannot adequately fund sports with other numerous responsibilities at hand. “Governor Kayode Fayemi is passionate about sports and he was willing to bring it back to its rightful place in the state.
“Ekiti sports development fund will be set up which will be outside sports. From the pool of the funds, we look at how the government will complement such to develop sporting activities in the state.
” Apart from that, there will be a sports lottery to engage people in sports funding. The first Ekiti state Marathon will also come up before the end of the year.
“It will hold along Efon/Ikogosi Axis.” Sports talents abound in Ekiti, they only need encouragement from government corporate organizations and other stakeholders,” he said.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in State, Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela and the State SWAN chairman, Mr Ayodeji Ogunsakin stressed the for the government to make attractive to the youths of the state.
This according to them will make the young people who take up sports as a profession to be meaning engaged and reduce crimes and criminality in the state.
Ogunsakin who urged sports journalists to make the most of the workshop, modern method of information gathering and dissemination will be acquired through the training.
The NUJ Chair used the occasion to appreciate the state government for resuscitating and give necessary support to the state-owned Ekiti United Football Club.
The General Manager, Ekiti State Sports Council, Chief Ayodeji Samo posited that core professionals are now administering sports in the state and sports will be better for it in the state.
He said sports coaches working round the clock across the state to discover talents
“We have coaches in various districts in Ijero, Ikere, Ikole and Ado-Ekiti to ensure that talents are discovered at the grassroots and nurtured to stardom so as to represent the state and country at the local, national and international competition.”
The state government, ministry and the council are doing their best
to move sports to the next level in the state. “