A sports administrator, Babajide Shokoya-Olayinka, on Thursday called on the sports ministry to develop sports from the grassroots.
Shokoya-Olayinka, the Director Of Studies, Davidhall College, Ikoyi made the call during a press briefing to honour 14-year-old Isaac Aondoakaa, an ex-student, who currently plays for the Golden Eaglets at the U-17 AFCON in Algeria.
“This occasion is to re-emphasise the need to build our sports from the grassroots, especially from the schools. It is important to note that we can get it right if we follow the basic principles of developmental sports.
“I will like to mention here, the young boy, Isaac Aondoakaa, playing for Nigeria at the ongoing U-17 AFCON competition, started at Davidhall College in JSS2 in September 2020.
“He was on scholarship from Kakawa Sport. He is a very brilliant student academically. The first time he represented Davidhall at the third edition of the Lagos State Elite School Cup competition, he joined the Bethel Football Academy.
“That year, the college did not get to the final of ESCA Cup. At that third edition, Isaac became the captain of the school at JSS2 and we won the prestigious cup of Lagos Elite School Cup Competition, which we successfully defended at the fourth edition,” he said.
He encouraged private schools to encourage talented students in perfecting their talents.
“Isaac was scouted in October 2022 (during the fourth edition of ESCA Cup) and went to Abuja for the U-17 football screening programme by the scouting team of coach Nduka Ngbade (Eaglets coach.
“This young gentleman of noble character eventually made the final team and is representing Nigeria at the ongoing CAF U-17 AFCON.
“Let me use this opportunity to encourage all other private schools to encourage talented students to develop their wards in sports, not just academics alone.
“We are also calling on private organisations, well-meaning Nigerians and state sports commissions to put up policies, financial and material contributions that will enhance consistent competitions with open facilities for these young talents to develop.”