The President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo has expressed satisfaction with the body’s ongoing registration and revalidation exercise expected to avail the association a comprehensive data on those that would enjoy its recommendation and protection in the face of quackery ravaging several professions.

Sirawoo stated this in an interactive meeting with members of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of SWAN. The forum at the Press Centre, Uyo, was attended by the leadership of the state’s Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

“The number of persons that have so far registered”, Sirawoo noted “is an indication that practitioners are ready to secure their identity and chase away those whose activities have overtime demeaned the sports journalism profession.

At the occasion, Sirawoo called for the observance of a minute silence in honour of late Eddie Bekom and Timi Ebikagboro. He remarked: “I am satisfied with the exercise so far; we now know those to defend in our march towards restoring the dignity of our profession.”

He disclosed that as part of his administration’s strategy to equate sports journalists’ contributions with the role administrators expect of members, the next step is to fight for the welfare, training and safety of members as well as standing against assault and disrespect for practitioners in Nigeria.

“I didn’t come to lead sports journalists to only promote the interest of sports administrators and participators without commensurate compensation for the years, expenses and risk suffered in the cause of securing professionalism.

“I’m not here to preside over an association whose members suffer hunger while administrators feed fat”, Sirawoo declared.

The SWAN President continued, “As drivers of sports sponsorship deals, promoters of talents, story bearers and laundry for administrators, we need to encourage and facilitate adverts for our employers and bloggers so that they can pay salaries, service equipment and buy data.”

“We need to know the volume of seminars, workshops and training that our involvement will avail us, to improve our capacity for quality service delivery, how many slots the usage of sports journalists’ platform guarantees their coverage of international competitions in order to gain exposure to modern infrastructures as well as our security while on duty.”

He pledged to work closely with the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, who he says has demonstrated support for sports journalists playing an active role in Nigeria’s sports sector as applicable in sports thriving nations across the world and urged SWAN members to prioritise the qualification of Nigeria for Russia 2018.