The Chairman Oyo state Athletics Association, Dr Friday Ogada has spoken on the importance of grassroots development in the state.
“I have always been an advocate that we can’t grow without developing our young ones. There is no way we can make it at national and international level if we don’t develop the grassroots.”
Speaking on a sports program tagged Sports Drill, a concept designed to look deeply into the development of grassroots sports in Oyo State and Nigeria, anchored by Raymond Tolulope and aired on Pensioners 106.7FM Ibadan, Dr Friday outlined the need to focus on grassroots sports.
“When I came on board as the chairman of athletics in Oyo state in 2017, my agenda was to focus on grassroots development. I have always been an advocate that we can’t grow without developing our young ones. There is no way we can make it at national and international level if we don’t develop the grassroots, Dr Friday began.
“I am a grassroot person, I work on a daily basis with these kids, I see their talents and enthusiasm to succeed in life. My agenda was to focus mainly on grassroots development and to God be the glory, Oyo state has come back to become one of the top in Nigeria as far as grassroots athletics is concerned.
“The grassroot has to be developed, Nigeria only boast of Blessing Ohagbare and she is not yet getting younger, how do we replace any the outgoing athlete and bring new ones on board if not through the grassroots.
“My goal is to develop the grassroots which is what I am doing presently”.
The Ebonyi state born sports administrator who is also the Secretary General of the Southwest Athletics Association stressed on the need for sporting facilities in the state while appealing to the Oyo state government to do something fast
“Some of the problems we are facing is the lack of adequate facilities, we don’t have a tartan track anymore in Oyo state. In the whole of the state, there is no standard track. We don’t have the facility.
“The University of Ibadan is where we use to prepare for games. Facilities are important to produce world-beaters. We appeal to the government of Oyo State to do something very fast because for us to produce world-beaters, we must have a suitable place to train.
“Look at Lagos, almost every corner of Lagos is filled with tracks. I believe the new administration is working on it, very soon we will have tracks. If we can have tracks in every zone, it will be better. It will reduce cost, stress or risk of travelling a far distance. Athletes can go to their nearest zones to train. He concluded.