The Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Enugu State, Mr. Charles Ndukwe stated this while speaking on the maiden International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The Day became relevant following the numerous contributions of sport in promoting peace, erasing cultural barriers worldwide and enhancing development.
To this end, the United Nations General Assembly declared April six as International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. According to the UN, Sport over the years has helped to promote cultural understanding, improve education, economic and social development, foster unity, empower and inspire people.
Objectives of the event are to promote healthy life styles, emphasize on the International Olympic Committee, give many people as possible access to sport and enrich lives through sporting opportunities. As the global community focuses on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, what is the role of sport in the scheme of things, especially in Nigeria.
The Enugu State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Charles Ndukwe while lamenting inadequate investment in sport across the nation explained how the country can achieve sustainable development and peace by 2030 through sport.
‘’In sports, little amount of money you put in it, creates a big impact. Putting sporting facilities around in schools, streets, we have talents here and here, that is what keeps people busy.’’
A sport lover and Director of a non-governmental youth organization in Enugu, Mr. Chidozie Ogenyi who confirmed that sport was a unifying force among Nigerians urged government to sanction schools that do not create avenue for sport development. Mr. Ogenyi noted that lots of opportunities including employment were embedded in sport.
‘’In the United States for instance, every child who is of school age is made to develop interest in one sport or the other. The physical exercise, young people engage in help in the development of their minds and brain and we can sell such talents abroad and they will generate lots of income for the economy.’’
Some sport enthusiasts in Enugu metropolis called on various government to do more to encourage sport development and close the gap with developed nations.
‘’Sport in Nigeria is not what we expect it to be.’’
‘’We are so backward.’’
While doing sports it makes our nerves very active’’.
The respondents added that crime rate in the nation would reduce if unemployed youths in the country were empowered through sport.