Igali urges deliberate policy on sporting facilities in schools

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Decries exclusion of wrestling from NUGA Games

ONLY a deliberate policy for the provision of sports facilities and equipment will return Nigeria to its pre-eminent position in international sports, Olympic gold medallist and former wrestling world champion, Victor Igali, has said.

Igali, who also decried the exclusion of wrestling, an Olympic sport, from the Nigeria Universities Games (NUGA), deplored the lack of interest in education by up and coming Nigerian wrestlers, a situation that will not bode well for them.

In an interview with The Guardian, the Nigerian multiple national champion, said: “I have been so positively impacted by my participation in sports. I believe the major cause of the decline we see in this area is the steady erosion of the school curriculum, the change in the school system and the fact that there are no provisions for sports school buildings let alone sports facilities.

“I reckon we need to return to making school sports compulsory. We need to make a deliberate policy of providing sporting facilities and equipment in secondary and primary schools. We also need to ensure that most of the Olympic sports we feature in regularly are included in the NUGA Games. That a sport like wrestling is not part of the NUGA Games is baffling.”

A strong believer in the power of good education, the Criminology master’s degree holder lamented: “Gone are the days school sports elicited so much passion and commitment from clan heads, principals, teachers and students alike. Today, one can hardly see any school with any measure of sports facilities. When I was in high school, doing sports was compulsory.”

The former Canadian wrestling champion added: “As an Olympic champion, I am in a vantage position to recommend athletes to universities in the United States and Canada for full and partial scholarships.

“But my one predicament has been the lack of interest in education from my wrestlers. However, I am hopeful that the new crop of wrestlers in the national team will benefit from some of these opportunities.”

In : Sports

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