Okon Bassey in Uyo
No fewer than 66 former Niger Delta militants have been offered scholarships to study sports management fundamentals at the Johan Cruyff Institute in Barcelona.
The Chief Executive Officer, To-be Connected Nigeria, Alhaji Faruk Yabo, dropped the hint in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State during a media chat held by Sia-One Sports Academy.
He said, beneficiaries would combine their studies with training sessions, while in camps as well as have three hours lectures daily adding that, participants would also be awarded certificates after the four months programme.
Yabo, who is the African coordinator of the programme said the sports management fundamental programme is being delivered in Africa for the first time by the University of Amsterdam to blend academic with sports.
Hear him: â€œWhy we are introducing the course to young people is to give opportunity to blend academic with sports because, when you are exceptionally talented, most times there is the tendency to disconnect from school.
â€œThis course is providing opportunity for those players who wish to pursue formal education while being actively involved with soccer to combine academic and their football career. It is a programme for all those who want to have a career in sportsâ€.
He lauded the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta/Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd) for providing the opportunity for youths in the Niger Delta to excel in sports and make it an alternative source of livelihood.
The CEO of Sia-One Sports Academy and former Super Eagles Head Coach, Samson Siasia, had earlier expressed confidence in the programme, acknowledging the role of Gen. Boroh in providing the platform for the youths to showcase their talents through the Sports for Peace Initiative in the Niger Delta.
On his part, Ezekiel Nya-Etok, commended the Akwa Ibom State government for providing the venue for the training of youths from the region while also expressing optimism for the state government support for the programme.