Immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has said that the negative impact of the current economic recession can be mitigated if Nigeria taps and harnesses its talents and potentials in sports development.
Besides, the economic benefits of sports development, Mark stated that sports will keep the youths off the streets and insulate them from social vices detrimental to the society .
Speaking at the ceremonial tee-off of the 6th Pa Aikwuta Mark Pro- Am Golf Tournament at Otukpo Golf and Country Club in Benue state yesterday, Mark said: ” I have an irresistible passion for sports development because I know it is a tool for our unity and ultimate development.
“I encourage sports in all ramifications not just because I play the game of golf. Indeed, everybody should encourage sports. You know any time Nigeria is participating or competing in any sporting events, we are all united.
“So anything that would unite Nigerians and facilitate our peaceful coexistence merits worthy investment. I believe strongly that a lot of societal vices in which our youths are involved would diminish if we tap and harness their talents in sports.”
On the aborted Mark D Ball Basketball Tournament on account of litigation last December, Senator Mark assured that the tournament will be back better and bigger as soon as the legal hurdles are resolved.
For him, those who went to court to stop the Mark D Ball tournament did something detrimental and indeed a disservice to the people of Benue state and environs because they did not provide alternative.
He said: “I’m not discouraged by this development . Rather it has strengthened my resolve to do all that is needed to bring succour and happiness to my people”.
Also speaking, the president of the Otukpo Golf Academy Mr. David Mark jnr, said the Academy has produced young golfers who are participating and competing in both local and international championship including but not limited to representing Nigeria in European Junior Golf Championship in Scotland.
He hoped for a brighter future for the young golfers who are likely to clinch scholarship in Canada and the United Kingdom for their academic pursuit.