Just one week after the Presidential Retreat on sports, the Delta State government is following suit with a Sports Summit in Asaba, holding tomorrow at the Grand Hotel.
Unlike the Federal government’s retreat which was on sports generally, the Asaba summit which is an initiative of the Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan will be focusing on aquatic sports and track and field.
Interestingly, the man on the driving seat of the new world power in athletics, Jamaica’s Track and Field Coach, Bertland Cameron is among the resource persons expected at the summit. He will be joined by coach of the South African Olympic gold medal winning Rowing team, Barrow Roger, among other renowned sports personalities.
When contacted for the summit, Cameron was ecstatic and happy to be called. “I am really thrilled because when I was competing, Nigeria was at the same level with Jamaica,” he recalled, asking, “what happened to Nigeria? It will be my pleasure to come down to Nigeria and discuss with you how Jamaica is excelling in athletics.”
Top sports personalities like former Nigeria international, Adokiye Amiesimaka, Chairman of the Vanguard Newspapers Editorial board Ikeddy Isiguzo, Paul Bassey, Dr Ojeme Emmanuel, the Managing Director of Complete Communications, Mumini Alao, Managing Director Mastersports International, Ejiro Omonode, Vanguard Group Sports Editor, Onochie Anibeze are among those who will submit papers at the summit.
The idea to hold a sports summit was conceived by Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan when Nigeria’s athletes were crashing during the London Olympic Games. He decided on the summit after a heart-to-heart discussion with Blessing Okagbare whom a country of 150 million people relied on for a possible gold medal.
It was conceived before President Jonathan thought of the Presidential retreat that took place last Monday. Delta decided to go ahead with it as was originally scheduled to be their contribution to national sports development, to complement the efforts of the federal government.
The report will be submitted to President Jonathan and the National Sports Commission.