…thumps up Agu-Ejidike for rewarding NYG athletes
As Nigeria marks 63rd Independence Anniversary, President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr. Isaiah Benjamin, has called on members to remain hopeful and committed in the service to the fatherland through professional discharge of duties.
In a statement on Sunday October 1, 2023, signed by SWAN Secretary-General, Amb. Ikenna Okonkwo, Mr. Benjamin said as members of Fourth Estate of the Realm, Sports Writers have led the way in contributing in no small measure to sports development in Nigeria at both grassroots and elite levels.
“Our role as watchdogs of the society has been further demonstrated in the high level of dedication and focus in fulfilling our mandate from onset of existence, four years after Nigeria gained Independence as a sovereign nation in 1960.
“The Sports Writers charged with coordinating the activities of the Nigeria media in the promotion of sports and its socio-cultural values have refused to give up despite daunting challenges.
“Rather we have kept pushing to ensure that both discovered and yet-to-be discovered young athletes are given opportunities to showcase their God-given talents which in turn place Nigeria on high pedestal in the comity of Nations, thereby attracting business entrepreneurs and real time investors to boost the country’s economy in all facets with creation of jobs for teeming youth from generation to generation being major takeaway,” he said.
In further reminiscence, President Benjamin enjoined stakeholders, particularly highly placed Sports Administrators and Corporate Bodies to join hands with SWAN to achieve more sporting developments, rather than the previous snail pace approach.
He said, “As those who invest quality time and countless resources in boosting Nigeria’s image through Sports reportage, we deserve a pride of place in both at the decision-making and implementation levels of Nigeria’s Sports.
“A situation where even enlightened Sports administrators replace Sports writing professionals with those who are either political loyalists or family members in positions meant for the media at various National and International outings shouldn’t be heard of, talk more of happening any more. Like every mortal in any field of endeavour, media practitioners mostly within sporting fraternity need encouragement and support.”
Mr. Benjamin however, expressed optimism that the fresh glorious days of Sports Writing are already around the corner, while assuring that welfare of SWAN members will continuously be a major factor going forward.
“As a leadership, we will soon come up with a well-designed Blueprint on this. By February, 2024 when SWAN will be celebrating its 60 years of existence, we will roll out further insights,” he said.
The number one Sports Writer in Nigeria then congratulated President Bola Tinubu, Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh, Sports Federation Presidents, other sports administrators and indeed all Sports loving Nigerians on the occasion of Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary.
Meanwhile, SWAN has hailed Nigeria’s Pillar of Sports Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike for his magnanimity in rewarding some athletes at the just concluded National Youth Games (NYG) in Asaba.
Chief Agu-Ejidike had doled out N100, 000 each to three athletes including First Gold medalist in Karate Eteimo Victory (47kg female), First Gold Medalist in Weightlifting Esther Ezenwa (45Kg Female) and Another First Gold Medalist in Weightlifting Stephen Godswill (-49kg Male) at the NYG.
While commending the Pillar of Sports, the SWAN President beckoned on other well-to-do and good spirited individuals to emulate such gesture which he described as unique.