By Eddie Akalonu
Tennis veteran, Bulus Husseini,has faulted the National Sports Commission,NSC structure for sports development in the country, saying the existence of zones without coaches was the reason sports have failed to make the desired impact at grassroots level.
Speaking in Lagos during the just concluded 18th National Sports Festival, he said “For years we have had six sports zones headed by a zonal coordinator and a sports officer. Now, I I’m made to understand that in addition, NSC has created sub-zones as part of reaching the grassroots.
Still, coaches are not in the equation for these zones. I think coaches should be engaged and sent to work in all zones. They (coaches) are actually the staff who should get involved in talent hunting in schools and local governments all over the country. A situation where you don’t have coaches in the zones is a sad omission in our sports policy.
Coaches, like I said should be part of all levels of sports development. They, in my opinion, are the personnel that should dominate the sports zones. You may not want them heading the zones but employ them as core personnel working with the professionals there to carry out any form of developing the young ones at the grassroots. Without the coaches efforts will continue to be in vain.
Husseini, who recalled that it was a coach that recognised his yearning for tennis at a much younger age and brought him to limelight in the 1970’s with the likes of Nduka Odizor, Abubakar Sadiq and others, also revealed he is fully into coaching youths to start with tennis early in life.
“I like coaching young boys and girls under five years of age to play tennis. Catching them young fortifies my belief that this has bigger impact on sports development and I’m devoted to doing just that,” he said.