Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has approved the sponsorship of 20 members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) to travel to Russia for the World Cup finals.
Speaking through the Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Kobani at the Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt during the 54th National Full Council Meeting of SWAN, Wike said he has no apologies for the decisions he had taken in sports development so far, adding that his administration would go to any level to make the state the sports capital of Nigeria.
“The government has approved the sponsorship of 20 sportswriters to the World Cup in Russia.
“We are organizing the African Wrestling Championship as well as Governor Wike Wrestling championship. We have hosted the Super Eagles and we still intend to host them again, during our third anniversary in office from where we will be sending them forth to Russia with a match against the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Amiesiemeka Stadium in Port Harcourt.”
In a paper entitled, ‘Sports Development and Nation Building: the Role of SWAN’ presented by Professor Peter Etsu, the sports writers were challenged to use their pen to build their sector.
He said, “The importance of sports as a catalyst for human development and nation building is captured in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 585 entitled, ‘sports as a means to promote education, health, development and peace.’
“Sports provide a forum to learn skills such as discipline, confidence and leadership and teach role principles such as tolerance, cooperation and respect.”
Looking at the Nigerian nation with over 200 million people and about 450 ethnic nationalities, he said the country comes alive with vigour and steam during sporting activities.
“In less than a month, the world will gather in Russia to celebrate one of the major sporting activities, the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The frenzy of this is already gathering momentum in Nigeria as the adrenaline for patriotism is ignited,” he said.