Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Corporate bodies and individuals have been called upon to be involved in the development of sports particularly football at the grassroots level.
The Chairman, Ekiti State Football Association, Mr Ayodeji Alabi, who made the call said desired results will be difficult to achieve if the running of football and other sports generally are seen as sole responsibility of the government.
He said full involvement of both private organisations and individuals through huge investment in grassroots football development will help in the identification of raw talents that could be nurtured to stardom.
The Ekiti FA boss spoke in Ado Ekiti at the weekend during a get-together organised by the management of Phoenix Athletic Sports Limited for members of the Ayodeji Ogunsakin-led state chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).
He said the association was ready to support organizations as well as individuals with genuine interest to developing the youths of the state through the instrumentality of the game of football.
“It takes discipline and determination to make things work. It will interest you to see how best we can develop the game of football from the grassroots. Every genuine agenda geared towards youths and football development at the grassroots will get our support as the body that is saddled with the administration of the game in the state.
He however stressed the need for the stakeholders to ensure that the game be run the way it should.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Phoenix Athletic Sports, Mr Bayo Olanlege commended the sports journalists for their contributions towards the development of sports in the state.
Mr Olanlege, who bankrolled a national league side, Phoenix Football Club stated that the mandate of the organisation was to hunt for young sports talents and groom them for national and international meets.
While noting that the support of the state FA was pivotal to generating ideas for football development in the state, he disclosed that plans was in the pipeline by his organisation to float a basket ball team.
Ayodeji expressed SWAN’s readiness to support the organisation in its efforts at revolutionalising and developing sports in the state and the country at large.