According to NAN’s Ibrahim Abdulazeez, sports fans on Friday in Iseyin have expressed their views on what they expect of the new Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare. Sports enthusiasts, who spoke with NAN in separate interviews at Iseyin, also expressed optimism that the new sports minister would fulfill his mandate.
Table tennis player reviews Moyosore Atobatele, a 44-year-old professional table tennis player, said he was pleased with Dare’s deployment to the Sports Ministry, saying the sector would witness a turnaround.
“I did not know him before his appointment, but I listened and watched him during the ministerial screening; he is a man so talented and with a wealth of experience.
“I hope and pray that he will put this experience to good use in his new role. We are waiting for a total transformation of the sector. We want a ministry of sport that is not crisis-oriented.
“He needs to find a way to make peace in the sports industry. We are tired of mixing sport and politics,” he said.
Bambi Abiodun, a football lover, said the new minister should set out to meet the challenges of sport development in the country.
“There is no time to lose, the challenges are enormous and he must start working immediately, we must begin to feel it as soon as possible.
“It should provide quick fixes while looking for long-term solutions to our challenges,” he said.
A football fan board
Elizabeth Alade, another football fan, urged the minister to focus on sports other than football.
“I like football, but I sincerely believe that football is not our main asset in this country. I hope this new man will also look for a way to develop other sports.
“The development of other sports will certainly keep many young people away from crime and laziness, our people are doing well in other sports such as wrestling, judo, taekwondo, and sprint among others,” she said.
Kazeem Isalu, a basketball enthusiast, urged the minister to pay more attention to the development of basketball across the country.
“Our men’s national basketball team is currently in China for an invitational tournament. It will interest you to know that these guys have found funds on their own to allow them to represent their country.
“We have to start doing things right and the new minister has to find the money for boys because they represent the country and, if possible, let him come to China to encourage them.
“The invitation is a prelude to the World Cup in October and we treat our players badly. My first mission for the new minister is to do something to remedy this situation.
“He must also motivate our national women’s basketball team that has just returned from Dakar as an African champion after defeating the Senegalese host in the final to keep his crown,” he said.
Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF)
Some stakeholders that make sports bets urged the new Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, to reposition the sector in the general interest of the country. Stakeholders, who spoke by telephone with NAN on Friday in Ibadan, urged the minister to do everything in his power to ensure adequate funding for all games.
President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Daniel Igali, while congratulating Dare for what he called his well-deserved nomination, advised him to work to elevate the status of the sport in the country.
“I congratulate the new minister on his deserved appointment. Our hope is that it elevates the status of the sport in the country.
“We also urge him to ensure that there is sufficient funding for all
sports, especially Olympic sports and all other tournaments,” he said.
Igali assured the Minister of NWF’s cooperation and unflinching support to enable him to succeed in the national mission.
Nigerian Table Tennis Federation
In addition, a board member of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation, Mr. Anderson Bankole, urged Dare to reposition sports pendants.
“Sports in Nigeria, for the moment, were not what they were before. Our
athletes must participate in future international competitions to improve their skills.
“International competitions will surely help to define their skills to compete with their counterparts around the world. It also helps to improve their international ranking.
“It is also necessary to maintain local competitions to be able to get rid of their competitors,” said Bankole.
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