Bayelsa govt. wants FG to site proposed sports university in Asoama

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The Bayelsa Government has urged the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to site the proposed University of Sports at Asoama in the Kolokuma/Opokuma area of the state.

Gov. Douye Diri made the call while hosting the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Friday at the Bayelsa Government House in Yenagoa.

He urged the ministry to take advantage of the world-class facilities available at the state’s Sports Academy In Asoama.

Diri, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, assured of his administration’s preparedness to contribute its part in implementing the already existing agreement between Bayelsa and the federal ministry.

He maintained that the facilities at Asoama could be used to groom young Nigerians both in academics and sports in line with the minister’s three “Is” policy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three “Is” is a policy of Infrastructure, Incentives and Investment, targeted at harnessing potentialities in the sports sector.

Diri said the institution could begin with the awarding of Diploma- and Certificate-awarding programmes, in addition to short-term in-service courses for Nigerian coaches to enhance their professional know-how.

“I want us to look at the specifics in that Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) we entered into. Now that we have an academy, which you have fallen in love with.

“We believe that if there is an idea of having a Federal University of Sports in the country, then it can actually start from Asoama.

“We have almost all the facilities on ground. The place is safe and good for studies. We can collaborate and start with diploma-awarding programmes and grow to become a full-fledged university.

“On our part, we are ready to do everything within our powers to realise this because it is going to help our country and economy.

“We also believe people from outside the country, particularly from the African continent, will also come here when it kicks off,” he said.

Earlier, Dare had said he was in the state to visit and inspire the five wrestlers who qualified to represent the country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games which begins on July 23.

He lauded the Bayelsa government for its commitment to the development of sports in terms of supporting its contingent to national sports meets and the building of infrastructure.

Dare particularly commended the government for building a sports academy at Asoama and indicated his ministry’s readiness to partner with it to upgrade the facility for use in no distant future.

The minister, who expressed satisfaction with the ongoing construction of a wrestling gym, describing it as world class.

He also promised to work with the present administration in the state to build a national swimming pool in the state.

“Bayelsa is a sports-loving state. It is noted for the support you are giving to the growth of wrestling in this country.

“I dare say that, Bayelsa is the wrestling capital of Nigeria and indeed the African continent because our wrestlers dominate the continent.

“This morning, I visited your wrestling gym that is under construction and I was excited that it met international standards.

“It shows a government that has foresight and is really committed to sports development, which is rare,” the Minister said.