A grassroots sports exponent in Rivers State, Prince Iyalla Ibifaa Dappa has called for the resuscitation of the Rivers State Sports Institute, Isaka, as the once impressive institution is now a shadow of itself
According to Dappa, the institute was a haven for blending of academic and sports development in the state and beyond towards nurturing talents for future.
Making the call in a chat with Tidesports yesterday, Dappa, who is also the president of Garden City All Stars Football Club, said that the rot at Isaka should be arrested without further delay.
He explained that the institute which was modeled after the Western sporting philosophy where sports men and women are discovered and natured in line with their sporting interest, and still given commensurate educational opportunities like their peers who are not sports inclined.
The Prince continued that this approach which is more fashionable in Europe and America is aimed at making the youths more relevant in the scheme of things, even when they retire from active sports.
In his words; “The Sports Institute at Isaka is a ground for catching them young, building them up in other to meet with the challenges of the sporting world because the structure is usally designed to brush up the athletes sportswise and educationally, to a level that even when they are done with the physical game, they can still find themselves useful in the society, sometimes as sports administrators.
Dappa further maintained that sporting institutions in the mould of Isaka Sports Institute should be established in all the local government headquarters in the state and beyond, adding that the approach if adopted would give ample opportunities to talented youths in the rural areas, who may have so much to offer the father land, but are usually deniel the chance due to lack of facilities.
He also reiterated that the Rivers youths are expected to perform well in such sprts like wrestling and swimming. He stated that these sports are part of the Rivers culture, and noted that the establishment of more sports complex and the resuscitating of the Isaka Sports Institute would bring life to the core traditional sports in the state.
He thus added that the poor performance in the areas of swimming and wrestling by Rivers youths in particular could be attributed to low level of interest and poor managerial prowess on the part of the administrators.
RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports
The Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on School Sports, Chief Aribitonye Okiri, has said that the state government-led by Chief Nyesom Wike, is committed to develop youths in the State through sports.
He stated that it is not in doubt that the State has hidden talents at the grassroots that are yet to be discovered.
Chief Okiri, said this at the finals of the National School Sports Competition held at Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
According to him, Governor Wike is poised to reach out to young ones in all the local government areas, in the state and engage them with sporting activities in a bid to discover hidden talents.
“As I speak, the governor has reiterated his desire to reach out to the children in all parts of the state and unearth their talents through engagement in sports, believing that all Rivers children are talented” Chief Okiri said.
Also speaking, the second Vice President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Pastor Emmanuel Ebong, thanked Governor Wike, for proving a worthy partner of NSSF and appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate Nigeria Breweries Ltd in partnering NSSF in sports development.
At the end of the final competition, Community Secondary School, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, dominated the medal table.
24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship
The Lagos State Athletics Association has confirmed the entry of 24 states and some clubs for its lucrative Athletics Meet fixed for Thursday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship made the disclosure at the weekend even as he hinted a few other states may still join the already confirmed 24 states and clubs.
He said: “Yes, we are very much on track for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship which will be coming up this Thursday.
“Right now, we already have 24 states and some top racing clubs that have confirmed their participation, a few more may join before we close the window.”
The Lagos Open Athletics Championship is a one-day meet simultaneously serving as another qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
In the past days, Lagos has been a beehive of activities with the National trials at the Yaba College of Technology Sporting complex and now the train is moving to the heart of the city in Surulere as the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics continues to gather momentum.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship includes the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.
There would also be top-quality action across the relay events including; the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been penciled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.
Already, the top three finishers across all the events have been assured mouthwatering prizes by the organisers.
Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials
Blessing Okagbare will be heading to Tokyo Olympics in the best form of her life after running the second fastest time in the world this season.
The 32-year-old ran 10.63 seconds to win the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos on Thursday.
The 10.63 seconds time saw her tie with Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’ best time in 2021 ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Okagbare ran 10.99 seconds in the semifinal of the event to set a new championship record , and before clocking 10.63 seconds in the final to set a new record. The scorching 10.63 time is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster. The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season.
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