The President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo, has called on state governments to adopt policies that would discover sports talents to boost tourism and employment.
Sirawo, made the call in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday when he led SWAN national officials on a courtesy visit to Kebbi Gov. Alhaji Atiku Bagudu.
“Sports has gone beyond recreation and past time to the level of revenue earner and encourages tourism, if the states can tap the talent of their sportsmen and women,” Sirawoo said.
He urged the governments to invest heavily in sports to facilitate the socio- economic development of the country.
“If one should draw an instance from Christiano Ronaldo, a Real Madrid footballer, one can simply understand the impact of talent in a country.
“Ronaldo was a secondary school drop out, but because of his talent, he now earns about 500,000 Pounds per week and another 600,000 Pounds as match bonus.
“More so, in our local example, 19 year- old Kelechi Iheanacho, who plays for Manchester City earns about 85,000 Pounds per week, which goes to show that sports brings economic prosperity to the people,” he said.
According to him, SWAN officials were in the state to mobilise the state government in its efforts to revive sports.
He acknowledged the efforts of the government for improving agriculture and electricity supply.
The president also explained that the association was created in 1964 with the aim of promoting and developing sports activities in the country.
In his remarks, Gov. Bagudu, represented by Alhaji Babale Yauri, Secretary to the state Government, said that government would strive to revive sports.
“The government is now committed to energizing the Ministry of Youth and Sports to explore talents that will represent and win laurels for the state in national and international competitions,” he said.
He revealed that the government would rehabilitate facilities and provide modern sports facilities.
“This is in furtherance of our governor’s commitment to the development of sports,” he said.