President of the Sports
Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo, has advised sports administrators to see sports journalists as critical stakeholders in sports development rather than adversaries, saying, “Nigeria’s march to greatness in sports cannot be achieved without the input of sports writers”.
The SWAN President said sports writers were ready to operate strictly within the rules of engagement and ensure balanced reportage and constructiveness instead of painting a picture of confrontation.
Sirawoo, who was responding to questions from journalists on the sidelines of the ongoing National Hockey Super League at the Abuja National Stadium, where he joined the Federation’s top hierarchy to watch Plateau and Kaduna state teams play, said: “Our major responsibility is sports promotion and not vendetta using our privileged positions.
“While we advise sports administrators to do the right thing, we, as sports writers must also do our part by ensuring that we dish out balanced reports.’’
“Our task is sacred and demands high sense of responsibility,” the SWAN President further stated.
He said one of SWAN’s challenges was to regain the confidence of the people, a task Sirawoo emphasised would be quickly accomplished by members realising that “we not only share a common goal as SWAN, but believe in the existence of the association through our actions.”
The SWAN President commended the Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, as well as the Sports Federations and other critical stakeholders, for identifying with the mission of the new SWAN Executive Committee which was anchored on professionalism and restoration of the dignity of the association towards quality service delivery.
According to him, SWAN is the sports arm of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) which houses and coordinates the activities of editors, reporters, photographers, researchers, producers, commentators and cameramen in the sports sector of the print and electronic media.
“We shall come hard on any member whose action undermines the supremacy of the association,” he declared and thanked members for their conduct and elaborate coverage of the visit of FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Secretary General, Fatma Samoura to Nigeria.
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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