As earlier noted, there are many benefits in combining sporting talents with education. Unlike some uneducated or not-well-educated footballers, the educated players ensure they enter into contracts that would secure their future.
It is, therefore, pertinent for youths who are into sports to also spare a moment to think of life after retiring from their games of interest. Sports has a very short lifespan. Indeed, at a certain age, engaging in strenuous exercises begins to undermine one’s health.
When the body becomes tired due to age, the educated athlete or sportsman will have no choice but to fall back on his area of academic discipline for survival, because there is always life outside sports.
In Nigeria, there are many ex-sportsmen and women who are presently standing tall in other professions. Prominent among them are former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Rivers State, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka; Vanguard’s columnist and founder of the Segun Odegbami International College & Sports Academy, Wasimi, Chief Segun Odegbami; and Dr Felix Owolabi. They were international football stars who helped Nigeria win the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations in Lagos.
Today, unlike most of their peers, they live comfortably, not only from what they made during their active football careers that ended decades ago, but from their careers outside sports. Dr. Uche Chinedu Azubuike, a former handball player is now a lecturer at the National Institute for Sports in Lagos. There are many other examples.
It is, therefore, imperative for active sportsmen and women, especially budding stars, to find time to further their education, no matter how difficult it may appear, because participation in sports has short lifespan while intellectual skill lasts almost a lifetime.
The society has a role to play in helping children switch to this mindset of combining education with sports. In this wise, parents must from the onset prepare the child through instructions and good upbringing. The schools the children attend, the company they keep and the moral lessons imparted into them all help to mould their views on these issues and the world around them.
On their part, schools should play a major role in a children’s upbringing. The society has placed so much responsibility on schools to build a better future, not just for the child, but also for the world at large. The quality of education a child gets from the primary school forms the foundation of his academic pursuits. It is therefore a necessary task for schools to help shape the future of the children under their care.
We believe that strict adherence to government regulatory guidelines for the establishment of schools will ensure the continuous emergence of quality schools that would give our children good upbringing for a better society.“