By Omuboye Sukubo
Port Harcourt – Sopriala Bobmanuel, Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Rivers Chapter, has lamented the fact that state-owned sports facilities, especially the boxing gym in Port Harcourt, were under-utilised.
Bobmanuel, during a tour of sports facilities in Port Harcourt on Wednesday with his members to commemorate the Association’s 53rd anniversary, said the gym was only constructed two years ago.
“Sports facilities in Rivers are under-utilised, especially the boxing gym. It has been there for over two years and nobody has talked of it.
“In fact, most of the members of SWAN don’t even know that the boxing gym exists.’’
Bobmanuel called on the state government, companies and philanthropists to sponsor boxing competitions in the state in order to see the facility being put to use.
“That is the only way the facility will be maximally utilised. For now, the facility appears to be wasting.
“I hope the gym will be put to good use so that youths on the streets of Port Harcourt, who are looking for opportunities, can be constructively engaged.”
The SWAN Rivers chapter chairman also stressed the need to construct new facilities and renovate old ones.
“We have seen the standard of most of the sports infrastructure in the state and we feel that a lot more needs to be done to improve the sector.
“But Gov. Nyesom Wike has done well, considering the ongoing renovation work at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Sports Complex.
“I am sure that sports stakeholders will be much happier by the time the renovation work is completed,” Bobmanuel said.