Jennifer Thompson
Sat, Jul 29, 2023 4:20 PM

Imo State Government to Establish Sports Academy

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Imo State Government to Establish Sports Academy
Imo State Government plans to establish a sports academy and search for talented athletes at the grassroots level in order to sustain the state's success in athletic competitions. The government has also revamped the Heartland football club and renovated sports stadiums to attract sponsorship and promote sports as a lucrative venture. The Commissioner for Youths, Sports, and Social Development, Emeka Okoronkwo, expressed gratitude to Governor Hope Uzodinma for his support and highlighted the state's commitment to fair player selection.

The Imo State Government is taking proactive measures to ensure the continued success of the state in local and international athletic competitions. Plans are underway to establish a sports academy that will focus on identifying and nurturing talented athletes at the grassroots level. This initiative aims to harness the potentials of gifted individuals and provide them with the necessary training and support to excel in their respective fields.

The Commissioner for Youths, Sports, and Social Development, Emeka Okoronkwo, shared this exciting development during a press interaction in Owerri. He emphasized the importance of sports as a transformative job, not only for individuals but also for communities. Okoronkwo highlighted the remarkable progress of the Heartland football club, which has experienced a resurgence through the implementation of a robust structure.

"Sports is a transformational job, and it has already reached different communities. The Heartland football club has been rebranded and is now attracting sponsorship from various sources. We have received a significant number of individuals interested in signing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the state government," Okoronkwo revealed.

Under Governor Hope Uzodinma's leadership, Imo State is undergoing a comprehensive rebranding and investment in sports infrastructure. The expansive Dan Anyiam Stadium, which was previously in a state of disrepair, has undergone extensive renovation, giving it a renewed appeal. Additionally, the Grasshoppers International handball stadium has also received a remarkable facelift.

"We have successfully reintroduced fans to the stadium, implemented new structures, and surpassed the Super 8 stage. In fact, we defeated the highly formidable Sporting Lagos team. Any team playing against us must be prepared," said Okoronkwo confidently.

The Commissioner further emphasized the financial opportunities inherent in sports and its role in creating marketing structures. From youth categories such as under 15 and under 12 to athletes participating in weight lifting and classical volleyball, Imo State is committed to nurturing talents across various sporting disciplines.

Okoronkwo extended his appreciation to Governor Hope Uzodinma for his unwavering support and assistance to the Ministry of Youths, Sports, and Social Development. He also commended the ongoing road revolution, which has connected all parts of the state to the capital city, Owerri.

Reflecting on his tenure, Okoronkwo acknowledged the necessity for urgent restructuring upon his assumption of office. He established comprehensive structures that incorporated the staff of Heartland Football Club, the Ministry, and the State Sports Commission. Furthermore, he instilled a sense of consciousness and dedication among all workers.

Regarding player selection, Okoronkwo ensured a transparent process devoid of nepotism or favoritism. The state's commitment to fair play and meritocracy has already borne fruit, with athlete Chituru Nwozuzu winning several medals. Nwozuzu is set to represent Africa in the Para tennis competition, showcasing Imo State's commitment to nurturing exceptional talents.

The establishment of a sports academy and the revitalization of sports infrastructure signify Imo State's commitment to creating a conducive environment for athletes to thrive. By investing in the development of grassroots talent, the state aims to maintain its remarkable position in both local and international athletic competitions.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-07-29 News

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