Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano
Kano State has concluded plans to play host to the maiden edition of Nigeria’s National Sports Mental Health Dialogue organized by FreIvan in collaboration with the Sports Without Borders Development Association.
The Country Director of FreIvan Services, Joseph Andishu, explained that the dialogue will feature critical stakeholders drawn from various sports fields across Nigeria.
Addressing sports journalists at the mixed zone, Sani Abacha Stadium Kano, Andishu pointed out that the dialogue is a pilot move towards kick-starting the process of developing the culture of giving prominence to issues related to sports mental health in Nigeria.
“Sports health is a contemporary issue that Nigeria should not be left behind in the area of paying critical attention to the mental well-being of its sports actors and backroom personnel at all levels.
“Nigeria needs to commence the process of training qualified sports mental health practitioners as a way to further reap the benefits that are associated with foremost global wealthy industry,” he said.
Andishu added that the one-day Sports Mental Health Dialogue fixed for September 30th in Kano will feature critical stakeholders drawn from various sports fields from across Nigeria.
He said the outcome of the dialogue will culminate in charting national roadmap for sports mental health in Nigeria and help to address fundamental issues that are related to ailments in the sports sector.
He further explained that: “We have taken the burden to go round and interact with stakeholders in the sports industry in Nigeria, and the outcome has been positive.
“The outcome of the dialogue in Kano, come 30th September, will determine the way forward. However, it is imperative to state at this juncture that 20 persons will be selected to proceed for hybrid trainings on sports mental health.”
He pointed out that those who complete the training will be internationally certified to become sports mental health first aid givers, which will add huge value to sports development and promotion in Nigeria.
He added that the state of the mental healthiness of Nigerian athletes and the provision of quality mental health services to Nigerian athletes, their coaches, fans, referees and sports journalists is core to the growth of Nigeria’s sports sector.