FG has shown sufficient interest in honouring sports men, women – Kwanta

As Nigeria grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, President of Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, Mr Nicholas Kwanta, has rather decided to keep fate with the exploits of Nigerian athletes in various sporting endeavours.

Kwanta who spoke to Blueprint in Abuja said despite the current challenge being faced globally, Nigerian sports men and women shouldn’t be deterred, and effort should be made to continuously encourage them.

The sports enthusiast also said he was optimistic that the country’s sporting architecture would bounce back and beat its previous records.

While commending the present leadership of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for showing encouraging interest in honouring its current and former athletes in diverse ways, Kwanta recalled with nostalgia how Nigeria had fared in football, boxing, athletics, wrestling, weightlifting, taekwondo, scrabble and others sports among the comity of nations.

 “I’m particularly impressed with the level of support we are getting from the Ministry of Youth and Sports development in our bid to document the exploits Nigeria sports have been known for. A lot of times, I have received encouragement from the current Minister of Youth and Sports Development who has shown great interest in celebrating Nigerian athletes. That is very commendable,” Kwanta, author of Nigeria’s sports book of record said.

On the efforts he has put in to ensure sports records are generated and preserved, Kwanta said in the last 10 years, over N60 million has been spent in travels, meetings, contacts and other research effort as well as the establishment of the country’s Sports Hall of Fame arena inside located inside the MKO Abiola stadium Abuja.

His words, “The Hall of Fame is a phase of record keeping designed to hang the legacies and good deeds of sports people in the country. I passed through a lot during these years in trying to put this kind of big resource in place.

“At some points, people wondered how I will actualise all of these. To the extent that some were telling me to pay them before they can assist with some information or data needed to actualise the project.”

Talking about the book ‘Sports Book of Record’, Kwanta said, “The book is a compilation of history and achievements of sports persons in the country since 1884. Already, the book has been reviewed, and the reprinting will soon take place once I get some of the expected assistance. Then, the first inductees into Sports Hall of Fame will take place. That will be after a select panel of reputable individuals have done the selection.”

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