The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Ebonyi state Governor, Emmanuel Uzor, has hailed the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) for ‘resurrecting’ sports in the state.
Uzor made the commendation when the association’s members in the state paid him a congratulatory visit over his re-appointment, noting that the government appreciated its efforts.
The CPS said sports was ‘dead’ in Ebonyi before the inception of the present administration but the vibrant coverage of the government’s repositional sporting policies and activities, ensured the revamp of the sector.
“The immediate past administration in the state mismanaged sports probably due to non comprehension of modern intricacies and trends in sports management.
“The present administration embarked on aggressive sport policies which culminated in the resuscitation of the school sports, paramilitary games and organisation of several competitions.
“This administration would soon unveil its consolidatory blueprint on sports and continue collaborating with SWAN to ensure sustenance of recorded gains.
He urged SWAN member to expose the corruption and other forms of
maladministration recorded in the sports sector at the local, state and federal levels.
“You should expose issues which occur behind the scenes in sports and which pose serious challenges to sportsmen and officials.
“Issues of short-changing and non payment of athletes’ bonuses and allowances are rife as there are several reports of athletes and officials sleeping inside stadiums during competitions.
“This development poses serious embarrassment to affected state governments and SWAN members should bring such to fore among other corrupt tendencies in sports.
“You should also embark on aggressive grassroots sports reportage to unearth hidden talents who will be groomed to actualise the state government’s vision for sports,” he said.
Uzor said that the Olympic sized stadium being constructed by the state government would be ready in 16 months as the state’s owned team was expected to play its matches inside it.
“We are also making efforts to ensure that Ebonyi is chosen to host the FIFA U-20 Women World Cup in 2020 as there are hopes that more venues would be selected,” he said.
Ebonyi SWAN Chapter Chairman, Chukwuemeka Opara, thanked the CPS for receiving the members, stating that the association will continue contributing its quota towards sports development in the state.
“We would ensure that sporting activities are adequately covered in the state especially at the grassroots as the journey to sporting stardom starts with unearthing hidden talents.”