By Albert Akota
The Minister of Sports, Tammy Danagogo, yesterday in Abuja said sports was a catalyst for social development and peaceful co-existence.
Danagogo said this when the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Special Duties, Sarah Pane, visited him in his office at the National Stadium.
“Sports can be employed to unite individuals and communities, highlight common interest, as well as bridge cultural, gender, religious and ethnic divides.
“It has the capacity to bring about peace and prevent conflict, thereby strengthening interactions between communities, people and culture,’’ Danagogo said.
He said his goal as Sports Minister was to make sports a way of life since it was a considerable ingredient of a healthy way of life and keeping fit.
“As a way of life, sports develop force, dexterity and accuracy, which can among other things preserve good physical health and also breed strong leadership traits necessary for building a formidable society.
“”The skills and values learned through sports are especially important for the youths, given that they are the leaders of tomorrow.’’
Danagogo, who is also the Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), pledged the commission’s readiness to collaborate with the office of the Special Adviser to encourage young and talented children.
“We want to develop their career in sports, because one of the cardinal objectives of the NSC is not only to hunt and discover talents, but also to nurture them to podium athletes who will bring glory and honour to Nigeria.’’
Earlier, Pane had said the purpose of the visit was to seek the assistance and collaboration of the NSC to organise a pre-season international tournament in Abuja and Lagos.
“We also want to seek the minister’s approval to raise funds to take three girls under the ages of 10, who have demonstrated exceptional talents in chess and table tennis, for career training in Europe,’’ she said.