Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdul Fattah Ahmed, has flagged off the State Maiden Sports Summit with a call on governments at all levels to actively support and promote sports in all its ramifications as a way of enhancing national unity.
Governor Ahmed said achievement of excellence in sports is anchored on long term planning, early identification and growing of talents and private sector participation.
“For me, normative sports development with the endpoint in mind, with a clear idea of where we want to be, in what sports, with what resources and based on clear yardsticks, I hold, therefore, that success in this vital sector lies in adopting a corporate structure in which strategic long-term planning and private sector participation are critical success factors”, he submitted.
The Governor was of the view that for effective and result oriented sports administration, the private sector should play active role while government should be an enabler of a condusive environment.
Dr Ahmed said it was expected that the Sports Summit, with the theme, ‘Sporting Nation, Sporting Kwara: Setting the Winning Agenda’, would fashion a framework for sporting excellence by leveraging on identified areas of strength of Kwara State.
He reiterated his administration’s resolve to restore the state’s past glory in sports.
His words: “For us, glory in sports should no longer remain the stuff of fables but an inherent element of our identity as Kwarans just like our identity as Kwarans just like our reputation for successful commerce.
Former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, in his keynote address, said the economic values of sports have been under estimated in Nigeria over the year, adding that sports administration should maximize the economic potentials of sports rather than the participatory and entertaining aspects of sports.
Mallam Abdullahi, added that Kwara State and Nigeria at large should never be contended with mere participation at sports meets but evolve strategies that would engender attainment of excellence in such participations.