Nations that have achieve so much in Sport have been able to do so because they invest so much in sport development. Sport is one major areas youths can be gainfully engaged if the right investment in being made.
Nigeria have been through so many flops in recent times due to the nation not being able to channel resources into the development of sport. Almost all national sport infrastructure are in a state of total collapse that even those few youth that still patronise some of those facilities find is so difficult to compete.
We expect so much from our sport men and woman in a country where athletes pays so much abroad to train in other to be able to compete with other sport men and women in other Countries.
The Abuja national stadium which was used in hosting the all Africa games in 2003 is now a shadow of itself that even the Super Eagles cannot dare to play a game in it. Most of its facilities have been in a state that shouldn’t be thought off going by the huge cash that gone into the project. It was even reported some months back on how cattle have taken over the Sport complex because of our culture which dose not pay diligence to maintenance.
The National Stadium in Surulere has also become an embarrassment to the country. I mean the state of the stadium is so embarrassing that the state own stadium has to be used to host some sporting events while the national stadium has be left for hire by churches and also used to host other events. More of such sport structures can be located in almost every part of the country.
In my school days we used to have inter school games and it is usually an event that gets everyone to participate even our parents are grouped to compete in the school games, but all of those seems to have gone and seized to be part of our systems. Even the tertiary games such as NUGA and others are not as glamorous as they used to be when young undergraduate compete for the love of the games.
Most of these events have been replaced by cultism and other social vices such as yahoo yahoo etc.
We need to change our ways just to get the youth back into loving sporting activities once again. Government must invest in new infrastructure and upgrade old ones. Incentives should be made available for those young once who show great interest in sport. Incentive should be made available inform of stipends, scholarships, academic waivers, etc. Now is the time grow the nation by empowering the younger generation through sports.
Government need to work hard to get more private sector involvement in sport. The Channels kids cup, Milo basket ball competition, the shell cup have recorded huge success in recent time, but we still need government to got more involved in sport development so as to enable more private participation. These can also go a long way to improve national unity and peace co-existence among Nigerians.