By AFAM Echi
Grassroots football has been identified as the key to sports development in the state.
Making the comment is the Special Adviser to Gov Uzodimma on Sports and Youth Development, Hon Ikenna Nlemigbo while playing host to Association of Mbaitoli Journalists who paid him a courtesy call.
He used the opportunity to explain some of the plans of the administration to grow sports in the state especially school sports from where young talents were harvested in the past.
In his words, “we are pushing sports back to the grassroots where we will generate competitions to harvest budding talents. We are going to strengthen the Sports Secretaries in the different Council areas.’’
Nlemigbo expressed optimism that sports development will take a quantum leap in the state with the plans on ground. He used the occasion to inform that the state has taken delivery of the state of the art world class gymnasium containing tennis, rackets, boots, etc which was imported by the last administration of Gov Emeka Ihedioha.
The Special Adviser also informed that a stakeholders meeting of key sports persons will hold next month. They will include sports personnel, retired and active sports persons, betting communities etc.
At the forum according to him ideas will be harvested on how to move sports forward in the state. He disclosed that government is limited in resources and nothing will happen if everybody is waiting on government.
He mentioned of plans to create a group that will be rewarding retired athletes who have no pensions with stipends to keep life going while noting that sports is big business overseas as many of our athletes are hitting it big.
The salary issue of the Heartland Football Club will be a thing of the past he mentioned further reminding that the frequent changes in the management, about three in a short while was responsible.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of the Association, Comrade Chidiebere Iwuoha has hinted that their visit was to encourage all the sons and daughters of Mbaitoli in authorities and seek ways of supporting his efforts. He urged him to be a good ambassador of the local government.