The Steady Progression in Youths and Sports: A Result of Proper Management and Full Support From the Seyi Makinde’s Administration
Governor Seyi Makinde is very clear about the responsibility of the Oyo State Government under him in sports development. In fact, the performances of the Oyo State’s athletes at the just-concluded National Sports Festival can be alluded to the support the Youth and Sports Ministry, just like every other Ministries has been receiving from the Governor since this administration came on board.
It is on record that prior to the emergence of Governor Seyi Makinde, the State has not been doing well-enough in terms of performances at sporting activities. In fact, payment of incentives and all other allowances to athletes have not been consistently done by previous administrations. So, it is expected that the performances of the athletes reduce to the barest minimum because of the lack of motivation which is the payment of their allowances.
But, ever since Seyi Makinde came on board, the narratives changed. And, this is because he understands that government is responsible to find out some countermeasures from the balance-point between developing sports industry and satisfying popular needs, and make sports industry have a healthy and sustainable development. In boosting the morale of the Oyo State athletes and improving their performances in both local, national and international sporting activities, the State government under the leadership of Seyi Makinde recognises the need to pay their stipends the previous administration was owing them. And, this include but not limited to the payment of all outstanding allowances between 2016 and 2019 to the State Basket Ball Team and the payment of financial reward to the Oyo State Contingents to the 19th National Sports Festival held in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in 2018.
It cannot be gainsaid that every government is expected to play an active and crucial role in developing and supporting the sporting life of their territory by financing it and organising games to enhance sports participation which will have its impact on the health standard of the people and also unveil hidden talents in championing the youth cause. And all these as being done by the Oyo State Government under Seyi Makinde is yielding tremendous results.
At the just-concluded National Sports Festival held in Edo, the State moved from the 9th position that we were at the last Festival with 16 Gold medal to clinch the 6th position by winning 31 Gold medal. And, the Governor, on realising that the State athletes lagged in swimming competition at the Festival ordered that an olympics-size swimming pool be included at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba which is being remodelled to prepare the athletes for the task ahead while declaring that his target is for the State’s athletes to come home with a minimum of 100 Gold medal in the next sports’ festival. And it is achievable.
Also, the Junior Golf Tournament which was organised for children between age 6 to 17 by the State Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and concluded yesterday, 17th April 2021 gives credence to the fact that this administration mean business in massively developing sports in the State. And it is not debatable that beyond the fact that the Golf Clinic will help unveil more talents in the State, children’s participation in sports will help develop their educational attainment and skills development. Including the disadvantaged (the physically impaired persons) in the next Golf Tournament as declared by Seyi Makinde will also help improve their self-esteem and also let them come to the realisation that there is no limit to what they can achieve, and that they form an important segment of the society.
We must commend Governor Seyi Makinde for integrating sports into the broader development priority and strategy and for mobilising his government’s support and action in improving sporting activities and development in the State.
Kazeem Olalekan Israel writes from Ibadan, Oyo State.