1st Anniversary: Better days ahead for sports under Soludo – Onyedum

Mon, Mar 27, 2023
By editor


PATRICK-Estate Onyedum, Chairman of Anambra State Sports Development Commission (ANSDC), has said that better days await athletes and sports lovers under the administration of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.

Onyedum, who congratulated Soludo on his one-year anniversary in office, said the governor had broken new grounds in all sectors, including sports.

The Chairman said Soludo demonstrated his love for sports by magnanimously releasing funds to sponsor a 249-man contingent to the 21st National Sports Festival (NSF) in Delta State in spite of the lean financial resources available.

Onyedum said the team took part in 21 events and won a total of 39 medals, including six gold, nine silver and 24 bronze, a record he described as the best in the history of the state at the NSF.

He said a member of the team, Ujunwa Nwankwo, a female Karateka, got an invitation to represent Nigeria at an international championship in Canada in April this year.

“Like the governor said in his welcome message, we represented the state without any scandal or doping, and were able to sustain its record at the last festival held in Edo State,” he said.

Onyedum said Anambra also took part in the National School Sports Athletics trials in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where 16-year-old Fiaku Ezechukwuchiri emerged champion of the High jump event and earned to participate in the World School Athletics Championship later this year.

Onyedum said that Anambra would be one huge sporting arena with the development of the Anambra State Sports Solution Initiative (ASSI), a Special Purpose Vehicle for driving sports in the state with robust private sector involvement.

He said already, the Sports Commission had signed a sports financing partnership deal with Brunnnuel & Winston, a consulting firm to implement sports development programmes under ASSI for four years in line with Soludo’s desire to have the private sector get involved.

Onyedum said the State Government had given consent to Onitsha Business School, organisers of Onitsha City Marathon, to stage the second edition of marathon later this year.

“We are making progress, you know sports is a field event which everybody should see, but we are putting the administrative structure in place through a general overhaul of the Commission.

“We now have our financing partnership, we have a project vehicle, we have set up the administrative structure such that every part of the Commission from chairman to directors and coaches have to understand and play their role in the system.

“We have launched ASSI under which we plan to get no fewer than 10,000 Anambra athletes in the field. We have primary and secondary school sports, tertiary institutions’ games, out of school sports to harness sporting talents in the communities and markets,” he said.

Onyedum sports Infrastructure will also get attention as plans are already underway to develop the Park B section of Awka Township Stadium, upgrade the  Ekwulobia Township Stadium and site facilities in each of the three Senatorial Districts.

He said the progress made so far was because Soludo gave his political support to sports and wanted to see the sector develop in terms of business and empowerment for youth.

According to him, it will be sports like never before. I call on youth in Anambra to get their jerseys and boots because the Soludo administration promises to provide the environment for them to take their talents to world stage. (NAN)