MR Sunday Dare, the Minister of Sports, Youth and Social Development, has urged tertiary institutions to review and update the curriculum for the training of physical health educators towards harnessing the entrepreneurial opportunities in sports.
The minister made the appeal during the 50th National Conference of National Association for Physical, Health Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance (NAPHER-SD) in Zaria.
The conference was titled “Business potentials and tapping in the profession of physical, health education recreation, sports and dance’’.
The minister said the draft National Sports Industry Policy developed by the ministry in collaboration with Nigeria Economic Summit Group has re-classified sports from recreation to business.
Dare, represented by Prof. Olawale Moronkola, the Director-General, National Institute for Sports, said the intent of the policy was to turn sport into a vehicle for empowerment, development and growth through sports industrialisation agenda.
He, therefore, described sports as a big-time business with many entrepreneurial opportunities to explore in the areas of selling and marketing of (products, rights and services) and running gym/fitness centres.
Other areas include sports media, sports equipment manufacturing, sport clubs and consultancy services, among others.
The minister, who restated the commitment of the government to provide an enabling environment, urged tertiary institutions to tailor their curriculum in line with new trends in the sector.
Earlier in his welcome address, Prof. Rafiu Okuneye, the President NAPHER-SD, said the theme of the conference was a wake-up call; the association believed in and keyed into.
“Through this forum, the association would enhance the propagation further that sports is business, recreation is business and dance is business. The time to identify and explore all business potentials in our profession is now,’’ he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Kabiru Bala, said physical education was one of the disciplines with numerous job opportunities such as teaching, sports coaching, sports management and exercise science, among others.
Bala, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics, Prof. Danladi Ameh, said there was a need for a transparent and credible manner to engage the private sector to collaborate, ensure deliverables to the practitioners in the sector.
On his part, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, the Chairman of National Institute for Sports, also urged the association to redouble effort and work closely with state governments toward reviving sports in primary and secondary schools.
“We used to have Physical Education and later physical health education, but this component of education is almost gone in schools.
“Go to our primary and secondary schools you will not see facilities for physical education or physical health education classes.
“I think this association has a role to play in bringing this lost glory back in schools,’’ Galadima said.
He also tasked the association to have strong and vibrant state chapters with a view to promote sports and education to enable the younger generation come up with sound education and sports together.
He said the association in collaboration with its key stakeholders need to do more in promoting sports and education towards harnessing the business potentials in sports. (NAN)