Victor Nwangwu, a seasoned sports administrator has called for a renewed effective synergy between the Anambra Sports Development Commission (ASDC) and the state ministries of education for a sustainable sports development.
Nwangwu, a long time serving secretary of Anambra Football Association made the call in a lecture delivered at a summit marking the 56th anniversary of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in Awka
Delivering a lecture with the theme: “Anambra Sports, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, the veteran said Anambra had maintained the commanding height in Nigerian sports in the past because of the robust relationship that existed between the two sectors.
He said there was the need for the sports commission to ensure that sports associations in the state were functional as they were the basis for meaningful and sustainable sports development.
He decried insensitivity and indifference on the part of successive governments for the decline in sports in Anambra, adding that there should be adequate recruitment and training of technical officials to replace the retired experienced hands.
Nwangwu described sports development as not just winning medals but a process with visible oath that leads to success.
“Generally speaking, the sporting profile of our states has been on the downward spiral ever since the state was created, it got so bad that everything almost came to a standstill.
“Some of the challenges of our sports include absence of coaches and organising secretaries, lack of equipment and facilities, absence of associations, death of school sports, mismanagement of sports and exodus of athletes and appointment of administrators based on cronyism and political considerations.
“What we have in Anambra now is sports promotion, commissions don’t run sports, associations own sports, we must make them functional; it is a pity school sports is dead and buried in Anambra, our children stay out the day in school without sports time,” he said.
Nwangwu told those in charge of sports in Anambra to see sports writers as complement in sports development and not as competitors as they were crucial to sports development.
“It is expensive to work with the media but is it more expensive not to work with them,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police in Anambra, CP John Abang, expressed satisfaction with SWAN role in sports development while inviting members of the association to join the command as it plays host to the National Police Games later this year.
Abang, who was represented by DSP Josephine Ihunwo, Director of Sports in the Command enjoined stakeholders in the sporting community to embrace peace and work harmoniously to evolve a better sporting environment.
In his keynote address, Tony Oli, chairman of Anambra Sports Development Commission, who declared the event open said he was doing a lot to improve sports in Anambra.
Oli said SWAN had not been fair to him and that was why he had been administering sports in the state without carrying the association along.
Arthur Ebunam, former Rangers International player said SWAN had remained the conscience of sports in Anambra and urged them not to relent in their efforts.
According to Ebunam, anybody talking to sports writers is not talking to the individuals but the Anambra people who should know, sports development is a shared responsibility, so the stakeholders must be involved.
Also speaking, Dona Mbaezue, a veteran referee congratulated SWAN on its anniversary and lauded them for their positive role in the sports development both at the national level and in Anambra.
Olusegun Sogbesan, Director of Onitsha Business School described the summit as timely and important at this time