By Muhyideen Jimoh
Noah Dallaji, Chairman, African Children Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF), an international NGO, has called for more investment in sports to curb crime and youth restiveness in the country.
Dallaji told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that sports, if professionally managed, could be used to empower Nigerian youths.
“Sports is key to empowering our youths and getting them off the streets.
“Once the youths are meaningfully engaged, especially through sports, I can assure you that all these issues of crime, robbery and restiveness will be reduced to the nearest minimum in the country,” he said.
The philanthropist was speaking after his foundation officially unveiled two Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes “adopted” for sponsorship for the Games.
He explained that the foundation decided to sponsor quarter-miler, Patience Okon-George and taekwondo star, Elizabeth Anyanacho, under the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development’s “Adopt an Athlete” initiative.
Dallaji charged the athletes and Team Nigeria to intensify preparations so as to win medals for the nation at the fast approaching Tokyo Games.
“I want to congratulate both of you because you have worked so hard to earn this recommendation.
“The foundation didn’t come out to look for you, we just said choose the best for us and your names popped up.
“So I want to charge you not to relent, this is just the beginning, go to the Olympics and win us medals,” he said.
Current Athletics team captain, Patience Okon-George, told NAN that the initiative was a move in the right direction.
She called for more support from the private sector to compliment government’s effort at taking sports to the next level in the country.
Okon-George said Team Nigeria has been training hard to ensure podium finish for the country at the Tokyo-Olympics.
The rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games holds from July 23 to Aug. 8. (NAN)