Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr Tammy Danagogo has lauded the School Sports Federation for their continuous effort at developing sports from the grassroots through the School Sports Festival. Danagogo who was physically on ground at Otukpo, Benue State for the closing ceremony of the 7th edition of the National School Sports Festival promised to monitor the young talents discovered for development. The minister said that school sports is in line with President Jonathan’s grassroots sports development drive.
According to him, a nation that is interested in real sports development must embrace grassroots sports development which bedrock remains schools sports. “As we look forward to developing sports in schools it is noteworthy that the landscape of school sports in Nigeria is very wide therefore it requires collective effort and a prime place in social development and youth empowerment. It is at this point that I crave the indulgence of corporate Nigerians and philanthropists as well as NGOs to focus on transforming Nigerian youths for national development. The technical reports of the games indicate that the performances of each athlete have greatly improved and that there is serious need for the creation of a connect between the talents identified and the national high performance development programme in order to sustain the regeneration process of talent identification, detection, development and elite performance.”
He called on states to emulate states like Cross River which won the festival for a record fourth time due to its dedication and commitment to school sports development. He said Cross River which came tops with124 gold, 91 silver and 84 bronze to beat Anambra and Lagos have a good programme.
Nigeria Olympic Committee president, Engr. Sani Ndanusa a staunch believer in grassroots and school sports development lauded the NSSF stating that their continuous programmes will bring about the reality of the ‘catch them young’ slogan. He said the Olympic movement believes in school sports development and the collegiate system the world over remains the bedrock of sports development. “Programmes like the School Sports Festival are the real grounds for sports development where raw talents are discovered and harnessed for the podium in future and the NOC believes in such initiative,” he said.