Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has reiterated the commitment of the ministry to support the development of grassroot sports and the nurturing of talents.
Elated with the Ministry’s achievement in securing full scholarships for 25 young athletes in Abuja on Friday, the Minister said to sustain this drive to be able to take in many more, there is a new initiative to revive the Headmasters’ Cup tournament.
To buttress this, the Minister said that the tournament, which will involve 20,000 primary schools across the nation will be used to grow and nurture a new generation of athletes that will replace the ageing ones.
Dare made this assertion during a visit by the discovered talents of National Youth Games, Ilorin and representatives of Nigerian Tulip International Colleges in his conference room at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
Nigerian Tulip International College is partnering with the ministry to give the athletes 100% scholarship for their secondary school education, which the Minister said validates the country’s strategic plans as a nation to grow all sports across board.
The minister said that the ministry started a campaign titled “Adopt an Athlete”, which targets both individuals and corporate bodies to adopt a number of athletes and train them.
Sunday Dare, who is happy that NTIC has come to partner with the ministry, said this is unprecedented and will open doors for other partnership with schools and corporate bodies. He believes that the partnership will trigger a greater interest across the country.
The Minister said that this sponsorship goes to speak to the fact that the nexus between education and sports is inseparable, where the mind and skills are developed, and with this the nation will have well rounded sports men and women.
He used the occasion to call on other corporate organizations, local and international schools to reach out to the ministry for the sponsorship template, as there are more than 200 discovered talented athletes, whom the Ministry intends to send to Federations to mentor and develop their skills.
The minister also appreciated the coaches, as they are critical to the success of athletes.
The Vice Principal, Academics of Nigerian Tulip International Colleges, Bob Odey Ushie, in his remarks, thanked the minister for coming to turn around sports in the country.
Ushie said that the school thought it wise to bring forth a new way of involving our youth in sports even as they study.
The school, which already runs a Football Academy, will employ coaches to train between 11 & 25 athletes in seven different sports, after which they will be given 100% sponsorship, Mr. Ushie added.
The school has agreed to sign an MOU with the ministry.
The Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola, in his welcome remarks made it known that this proposal is in line with the ministry’s initiative towards grassroot sports development.