The Federal Govt. has called on the private and corporate organizations to join hands with the present administration and support its efforts towards the development of grassroots sports in the country.
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh made the call in Lagos during a monthly cycling race organised by the Pitstop Lagos Criterium.
He stated that his presence at the event was imperative, especially as the exercise organized by the Pitstop community aims to promote grassroots cycling , athleticism and Adopt a Youth initiative which he said, seeks to shape responsible, dedicated, and exemplary youth through academic sponsorship, cycling, employment and mentorship by senior members of the cycling community.
He noted that his presence at the event demonstrated further that government appreciates the critical role the private sector plays in the development of the sports industry, particularly at the grassroots level down to the elite and that the corporate bodies should be encouraged by this.
Senator Owan Enoh stated further that it has been very revealing what is going on in our various sports communities, all targeted at growing grassroot sports and encouraging private sector involvement
He explained that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda for Sports Development in the country pays apt attention to the various sports and their Federations for proper development from the grassroot through to advanced levels.
This, he said, was one of the reasons the President out of his wisdom created a Ministry of Sports Development and appointed him to saddle its affairs.
The Federal Ministry of Sports Development as it is today, the Minister explained further is open to private sector collaboration so as to ensure proper development of the sector with a view to providing job opportunities for our teeming youth, alleviate poverty amongst them and ensure a smooth, safe and peaceful society for all Nigerians in line with the policy thrust of the present administration.
The Minister who commended the sponsors of the event, used the opportunity to call on Sports loving Nigerians, corporate organisations and philanthropists to come out enmass and support the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration towards the realization of this policy objective.
*Let me start by commending the sponsors of this event. I also want to seize this opportunity to encourage more Corporate Organizations , the private sector to do more. Having me come here sends a signal on the Ministry’s openness to collaborate with corporate organisations to develop grassroot sports and encourage greater private sector participation*, he stressed
Speaking earlier, a senior Pitstop Mentor, Mr Adebisi Adebutu, stated that the consistency of the event for the past four years has attracted major corporate sponsors such as Access Bank, Craneburg Construction and Ìlúbìrìn Lagos Island.
He informed that the support has also spiked interest in cycling such that it has become the fastest growing sport in the country, attracting a wide demography from across professional and recreational cyclists.
Mr Adebisi explained that Cycling has developed this deep ecosystem that provides hope and opportunity to the young people involved in the sport, stating that the cycling community has promoted the *adopt an athlete* initiative of the Federal Ministry of Sports Development that has seen so many athletes being supported by recreational riders.
Fifty participants featured at the monthly Pitstop Lagos Criterium with three teams involved. Team Access, Craneburg and Team Ilubirin .
The competitors did 23 laps on the Dolphin loop, which saw Isaac Gana emerged 1st position and winner of the grand prize of one million naira while Team Access won the best team.