Anambra State used to be in the top echelon of sporting states in Nigeria. However we have not performed particularly well in sports development in recent years. This has, sadly, led to many sons and daughters of this state migrating to other states including Delta, Edo, Lagos, FCT to represent those states in National Sporting events and other competitions.
Sports more than any other thing reunited Ndigbo with the rest of Nigerians and restored their pride immediately after the Nigerian-Biafran civil war. The exploits of Rangers International of Enugu and the East Central State team that participated at the 1973 “unifying” post war National Sports Festival in Lagos, did wonders to restore the pride of the Igboman whom many believed were decimated by the civil war loss. We should as a policy renew and have a stake in training and retaining of our sports talents.
Furthermore, investing in sports will have a tremendous impact on youth development, wealth creation, security management and poverty alleviation in our state.
- Our Strategic Plan as
a Government shall be:
a. Establishment of Anambra State Sports Commission
The State Sports Commission shall be empowered to professionally manage sports in the State. The Commission shall:
- Design a multi-year sports development Masterplan for the state.
- Ensure sustainable training and development of sports men and women.
- Establish Sports Funding and Marketing activities.
- Set up Competitions
- Promote professionalism for Sportsmen and women.
We shall develop and give for our state, standard sporting Infrastructure for the training of our sportsmen and women. The facilities expected to be in place include:
a. Ultra-Modern Sports Complex in Awka.
b. Rehabilitation of Onitsha and Ekwulobia Stadia
c. Building of Zonal Sports Centres at Nnewi, Otuocha and Ogidi
d. Establishment of Games Village for the training of our sportsmen and women.
e. Establishment of 18-hole golf course etc.
Under my watch as Governor, the following sporting competitions will be brought back to our Sporting Calendar. They include:
a. The Headmasters’ Cup for all Primary schools in the State
b. The Principals’ Cup for all Senior Secondary Schools in the State
c. The Inter-Collegiate games for those in Tertiary Schools
d. Chairman’s Cup for all Markets in the State
e. The Governor’s Cup – For Clubs in the state to qualify for the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Federation Cup. This competition will be reinvigorated to assume a pre-eminent position as it used to be when it was called the “Challenge Cup”.
f. Participation in most Regional, National and International competitions qualified by the State.
Government shall motivate the private sector to co-sponsor these competitions.
a. We shall support private corporations and institutions to establish teams in various sports such as Football, Athletics, Boxing, Swimming, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Gymnastics etc.
b. Establish Age Group teams which shall be the bedrock of our sports development programmes
c. Support all existing privately-owned teams in the State
d. Ensure regular Training and provision of training grants for our sportsmen and women.
e. Engagement of good trainers and coaches with rich backgrounds to train our sportsmen/women.
- Youth development.
As part of the overall development of our youths to make them effectively play in the contemporary environment, Government shall support and encourage the following:
a.Youth Exchange Programmes and Carnivals.
I. Anambra Youths and Students shall be encouraged and supported to participate in Academic Exchange Programmes and Youth Carnivals globally. This shall serve as motivation for youths who excel in various areas of learnings, research, innovations and entrepreneurship.
ii.. The State shall in collaboration with Institutions and organizations establish and host innovation exchange programmes and other carnivals for youths from across the globe to periodically visit Anambra State. This will support knowledge exchange, strengthen dialogue and intercultural cooperation for sustainable development.
Join us, let’s go to work.