By NICHOLAS OBISIKE
ENUGU- Ikechukwu Okoronkwo, an ex-international Nigerian boxer, has urged governments at all levels to seperate politics from sports to enable the growth of the sport at both national and international levels.
Okoronkwo, who gave the advice in Enugu on Wednesday, said sports should be left in the hands of technocrats.
He said the situation of sports and boxing in particular, was not encouraging because a lot of people who did not understand the sport were part of the administration.
“Some even went to the extent of tampering with the technical side of the sports as they entered through political means.
“They will even be among the technical crew, directing things and that is why the athletes had not been doing well at competitions.
“If administrators of the technical team do not understand the rudiments of the sports, the athletes cannot do well or achieve success in their sports career,” he said.
Okoronkwo suggested a way forward for sports in Nigeria, saying government should engage people who have passion and knows the rudiments of sports.
“I think the way forward is to engage people who actually have the passion and knows the rudiments of the game.
“People who have seen it all in sports of their endeavour can impact the rules, regulation and tactics into the young ones,” the boxer said.
He noted that the life of a boxer after retirement was enjoyable if well-planned, and urged boxers to plan for thier future while active.
“Life of a boxer in retirement is enjoyable if well-planned and boring when not well-planned because the boxer will turn to a beggar.
“A boxer or sports personnel should plan himself well for life after the games as sports active periods are limited.
“Sports people need to invest and make lot of savings, that is why the government needs to pay more attention to their welfare.
“I know sports will grow with the right administrators and technical crew, followed by a well-packaged welfare,” Okoronkwo said. (NAN)