Don seeks holistic approach to reposition sports in varsities – The Sun Nigeria

By Bianca Iboma-Emefu

A professor of Human Kinetics, Sports and Health Education, former dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka,  Prof. Clement Fasan, has called for a holistic approach towards the repositioning of sports development and management in universities.

He gave the charge at the NUGA Scientific Conference held in UNILAG recently and stressed the need for the repositioning of sports in universities, adding, “the time to do so is now, as this strategic approach would maximize the contribution of sports to national development.”

Fasan said, for effective change in university sports, community sports should be handled at the local and state levels, where individuals and corporate institutions would have the opportunity to invest as well as sponsor sporting activities, while the Federal Government should focus on international sports.

“Once the community is involved, a lot of talents would be discovered and the avenue for wealth creation would be established. An opportunity to lift our youths from poverty to prosperity and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country could be annexed.”

Fasan spoke on “Repositioning institutional sports for excellent national and global impact.”

He added that repositioning sports would aid sporting activities in universities, including the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) competition and it would make national and global impact.

He said this could be achieved only if sports would be part of the curriculum and NUGA could be self-financing, diverse, inclusive, competitive and target-driven.

Fasan said this was the practice in more developed countries and Nigeria had the potential to attain similar heights. He lauded UNILAG for canvassing and mobilized support from private and public sector involvement to upgrade its sports facilities to meet international standards, noting that their sustainability were also desirable

The professor said UNILAG had succeeded in changing the narrative about NUGA for good by setting a higher standard for future hosts of the competition.

Vice-chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was represented by the deputy VC (development services), Prof. Ayodele Atsenua, and NUGA’s president, Prof. Stephen Hamafyelto from the University of Maiduguri, said NUGA games were a veritable source to produce great sportsmen and women from among university students and also for the promotion of healthy competition, unity and national cohesion.

Ogundipe pointed out that UNILAG is hosting NUGA games for the fourth time in the 56-year-history of the games, first in 1958, second and third in 1978 and 1998 and now the ongoing edition.

The VC said he is convinced that participants, institutions and the country at large would see this year’s edition having a great impact.