BY TOLULOPE POPOOLA
The Federal ministry of youths and sports, on Monday, launched an adoption campaign of the ministry, as well as the presentation of the work experience programme (WEP), to critical stakeholders in Nigeria, to aid the development of the sports industry in Nigeria.
The Adopt campaign initiative is a development scheme that was conceptualized and developed, in collaboration with the organized private sector and priviledged individuals in the society. The campaign rests on “adopt a pitch”, “adopt a sports centre” and “adopt an athlete model” and it is targeted at sporting infrastructure and facilities nationwide.
The WEP on the other hand is an initiative of the Federal Ministry and Youths and Sports Development, led by the Honourable minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, established to ensure that young people acquire a level of experience and hone their skills, to make them suitable for employment and acquire the required skills for self-development.
Speaking at a cocktail dinner yesterday, the honourable minister for youths and sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, stated that the sports sector, is a sector that has the biggest potential to catapult Nigeria into the top ten economies in the world, but it currently struggles with about the biggest challenges and arguably the lowest investments.
“It is written somewhere in scripture that ‘to him that is joined to the living, there is hope.’ Tonight’s event speaks to that: because we are alive, we will represent hope to those who need it the most. I thank you immensely that you are partnering with us to do that, Dare said.
Mr. Sunday Dare said that the athletes, and our youth, have the hope to succeed in whatever they do and the hope of the athletes is to be at the Olympics, or the World Championship for their sport, to stand on the podium, and fly their country’s flag.
He added that they want to be the reasons why Nigeria’s flag should be hoisted and the national anthem is sung while the world watches ad that is their reward. At the same time, he said that it is also our honour and prestige, and pride among nations.
“It is this hope that drives them to invest in themselves, to work hard, to endure all odds, and try to surmount every challenge”, said Dare.
The Adoption Programme is a baby for every Nigerian and by it, they hope to change the narrative about sports in Nigeria.
The ministry is at work to institutionalize frameworks that will ensure that individuals and corporate organizations get value for whatever they put in sports. Mr. Sunday Dare, said that he is glad to inform people, that they are working with the NESG, to revolutionize Nigeria’s Sports sector.
For the Adoption Programme, Mr. Dare said that they hope to reach at least 25 number of athletes in 11 number of sports, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic hopefuls. He added that it is their belief that they have partners at the event, who will adopt one, all or any number of the athletes and support them to win gold.
“By this, we hope we can give them the right pedestal to flourish, guarantees increased chances of success at the games”, he said.
Individuals and organizations adopted different athletes from different categories while others showed commitment to support the initiative.