By Olushola Okewole
Former 400 metres hurdles champion and Chairman, Sports for all Commission Nigeria, Henry Amike has called on the state government to revive sports at the local government level, saying grassroots sport activities have died.
Amike, who noted that sport activities have died at the local government level across the state, said its revival depends on the interest of the state governor and the concerned stakeholders.
He recalled that during the last administration, most sport activities such as Lagos State Sports Festival, Lagos Streets Soccer, The League and others were stopped which consequently affected the sports at the local level.
He explained that to rejuvenate the sports at the local governments, the new state government needs to be interested and take a proactive move while charging the local government to create sports department.
“To start rejuvenating sports depends on the state government. It has to be approved by the governor, if it is accepted by the governor and it gets started, sponsorship will flow in. we just need the government to bring back sports at the local government,” he said.
Explaining the need for the rejuvenation of sports at the grassroots, Amike said it would increase youths’ development and take them off social vices as sports would keep them engaged, adding that their interest in sports would disabuse their minds of immoral attitudes.
“Nothing is going on at the local government on sports. The local government needs the approval of the state to have standard sport activities. We need to go back to the local government and revive the sport activities. If sport is engaging the youths, they would be better managed.
“The government at the state level must be interested in sports, from there the ministry in charge of the local government will come to the department in charge of sports at the local government to discuss and give direction on how he wants sports to go in the state.
“Right now local government sports are not in order, the local government lacks sport activities and this makes vices more pronounced among the youths. The state government needs to intervene and support before anything can happen at the local government regarding grassroots sports.”