By George Aluo
The sports ministry has declared that she would in the weeks ahead roll out a grassroots basketball development program.
The ministry in a release signed by its Director of Press, Mohammed Manga said the program would specifically focus on the organization of basketball leagues.
The release stated in part…”The Ministry in the coming weeks will role out programs on Grassroots Basketball Development with specific focus on Organisation of Basketball Leagues (both Male and Female, including sponsorship), Development of home based coaches with coaching clinics, with scientific approach to the Game of Basketball, seminars, workshops, development of the Referees in line with international standards, encouragement of Basketball Academy in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria, working with retired Nigerian basketball stars and active professionals, among others.”
Manga stated that the ministry as a first step has concluded arrangements to hold the maiden edition of the Nigeria U-18 Basketball Championships.
The competition which targets youth at the grassroots will commence with zonal elimination amongst the 36 States of the Federation and FCT between May 27 – 30, 2022 after which winners and first runners-up emerging from the zones will proceed to Abuja for the finals coming up between June 3 and 8, 2022.
The Ministry called on State Governments to ensure active participation of students and youth in the games so as to build talent development which will go a long way in curbing youth restiveness in the country.
It commends President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for its commitment to the development of grassroots sports in the country and assured that it will continue to provide enabling environment for the full implementation of government policies, projects and programmes in line with the policy thrust of the present administration especially as it relates to youth and sports development.