Another edition of the media interactive session between sports stakeholders and members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria-SWAN, Ekiti state chapter has taken place.
The event being an initiative of the present SWAN executive headed by Qozeem Oladapo featured the commissioner for Youth and Sports Development in Ekiti state, Hon. Micheal Awopetu at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti.
The guest took time to reel out the achievements of the Dr Kayode Fayemi led administration in Youth and Sports Development since he assumed office for his second term.
He noted that a couple of sporting competitions had been organised and sponsored by the Governor and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi since the present administration took over the reign of leadership.
While assuring that the construction of an ultra modern indoor sports hall will begin before the expiration of the current administration, Hon.Awopetu said efforts were being intensified to give facelift to stadia at Ikere, Ikole and ijero with a view to encouraging and engaging sports talents from the grassroots.
The commissioner for Youth and Sports Development also expressed confidence that the financial reward promised all Ekiti born medalists at the last National sports festival ,by the Governor will be fulfilled in the next couple of weeks, stressing that Governor Fayemi had defied the states’ lean purse to reward the outstanding athletes.
On Ekiti United FC, Hon.Awopetu said the vision of the Governor to see the team gain promotion to the Nigeria elite soccer league was still in motion adding that the management of Ekiti United had been given a free hand to operate and select players and coaches.
He also imformed members of SWAN that efforts were on to mobilise funds for the state owned football team towards boosting productivity ahead of the 2022 football season and also acquiring a befitting vehicle for the team.
He also spoke extensively on the Ekiti state Sports Trust Fund which was passed into law in December 2020 but had yet to be implemented.
Hon. Micheal Awopetu said government had done the needful to ensure smooth take off of the Sports Trust Fund saying it would ease the government burden to implement everything in sports in the state as funds will be generated through various means to fund most Programmes in the sports sector.
He urged philanthropists in the state and beyond not to leave everything for government saying no government could fix all challenges facing the people.
Hon.Awopetu applauded the Ekiti Youth Team who have just arrived from the National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara state for doing the state proud despite challenges faced prior to the tournament.
The Youth and Sports Commissioner also praised the Hon.Olusola Osetoba led Board of the Ekiti state Sports Council for being pragmatic and alive to its responsibilities towards discovering, nurturing and exposing budding talents in sports.
While commending the Ekiti state chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria-SWAN for the role played in putting sports administrators on their toes, he promised a robust synergy with the body of sports journalists in a bid to actualise the vision of the state government in sports.
The Sports Commissioner described the act as fraud urging those behind such acts to desist as Government would soon take stringent measures to checkmate arbitrary staging of sporting competitions without recourse to the sports council which oversees all sporting associations .
He also urged the state Football Association and Ekiti United FC to come together and work together towards achieving better results next football season.
Members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria-SWAN from virtually all media houses in Ekiti state took turn to ask questions bordering on sports in the state from the Youth and Sports Commissioner who attended to the questions one after the other.
Also in attendance were the Special Assistant to the governor on Sports, Kola Owoseni, Special Assistant to the commissioner,Ayo Jonathan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Bamidele Arowosola and a former National chairman of SWAN and former Board member of Ekiti United FC, Barrister Steve Alabi who all gave kudos to SWAN for the initiative urging the association to keep the flag flying.
The SWAN ROUNDTABLE also witnessed the official unveiling of the newly hired head coach of Ekiti United FC, Kayode Olujohungbe whose profile was reeled out to the sports journalists.
The new coach promised to pursue promotion to the NPFL with all of his energy, sweat and spirit urging every stakeholder to step up their games for the vision to come to reality.
Secretary of Ekiti United FC, Ayodeji Olowolafe also cleared the air on speculations that players of the team had left unceremoniously for other teams.
Olowolafe said the players signed by bigger clubs based on mutual agreement with the management of the team.
A Management Board Member of Ekiti United FC, Mr Femi Olagbemi a.k.a Iron Bender handed the new head coach over to the Sports Commissioner who later presented him to the SWAN.
Members and executive of Ekiti United Supporters’ Club who recently donated a flex banner to SWAN as well as backroom staff of the team were also in attendance.