Abuja- The University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) has planned to construct a sports academy to carter for the sporting needs of the South-East geo-political zone of the country.
The Chairman of UNN Sports Council, Rev. Canon Jacob Onyechi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday that N20 million would be needed for the project.
“We have a very good cricket pitch, it is standard. We have played matches for South-South and South-East by the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF).
“We have said to them that we want to use this as a base for the academy; I have floated the idea to a lot of people including the (NCF) President.
“What we have not done is to put a position paper, reason, I floated it with the past Vice-Chancellor (VC) he wasn’t interested.
“But we have a new VC, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, who is interested in sports.
“And within the first month of the New Year, we are going to put forward that idea again that we need an academy.
“In fact, it will be a sports academy with different branches including Cricket, hockey, and football.
“And we will get people who are professionals to come and help us train players in the universities,’’ Onyechi said.
According to him, the academy will train athletes in Nigerian universities who can represent the country.
Onyechi, who is a Professor of Industrial Pharmacy, said further that the academy would be generate its income to reduce the cost of maintenance.
“We want to make it a self-sustaining academy and people will buy shares.
“It’s like starting a corporate entity. People buy shares and at the end of every year we report to them what we have done.
“We can train athletes from all the South-Eastern states and we can generate revenue from all the facilities.
“We have a lot of facilities at UNN used for NUGA which are yet to be harnessed.
“If people can step in and help us we will complete all those things and it will be a vibrant sports academy.
“I think we can do it, it’s just the zeal. All we need is somebody who will pull, push and give approval.
“I think the vice-chancellor will help us in this regard,’’ he added.(NAN)