By Chigozie Chukwuleta
Former Chairman, Anambra State Sports Development Commission, Chief Tony Oli has congratulated the newly appointed Chairman of the commission, Hon. Patrick Estate Onyedum.
He sent the message of congratulations while speaking with Newspathfinder on phone in reaction to the recent appointment by the state governor, Prof Charles Soludo.
Recall that Chief Tony Oli vacated office as the chairman of the Anambra State Sports Development Commission about two months ago after four years. He served as the first chairman of the commission.
Chief Oli described the new chairman as a sports personality who is well fit for the position, commending the governor for the choice of Hon. Onyedum.
“One thing I am happy about is that l have somebody that worked closely with me in sports development who is going to take over from where I stopped”,
“A lot of work has been done but the road is still very far. So, we need somebody who has very clear understanding of what has been going on. Sports is not like any other terrain”,
“You need somebody who has deep understanding and above all passion. Understanding is one thing but passion will drive the process”,
“Sports is multidimensional, it needs someone with deep understanding and respect for it’s different segments. With such mindset, all the segments will be developed simultaneously”, he said.
The former Chairman advised Hon. Onyedum to immediately settle down and start work, “we have the National Sports Festival coming up in November. He has little time to settle down”,
“Definitely, he is going to settle for fire brigade approach but then the foundation has been laid. There is already a template. All he needs to do is pick it up because everything that is required for successful outing at the Sports Festival is there. Athletes are there, all he needs to do is call for early camping”, he advised.
Chief Oli informed the new Commission Chairman of the state’s areas of strength and other details that need his attention.
“Basically, Anambra State has strength in the areas of combat sports (judo, karate, wrestling,) and lately the floor game (gymnastics). We have a little girl Stephanie. He has to pay attention because she is a preteen. He needs to give her a lot of attention”,
“But other than that, we have other areas especially team events where they have qualified in a num of them. There must be a general attention to all the areas but like l said our strength has always been combat sports”,
“He needs to break the jinx in Track and Field. We have Nnamdi Chinemerem, who is current javelin champion in Nigeria. These are people that will make us proud”, he believed.
The former Chairman also pointed out the need for Hon. Onyedum to look towards academicals which he said serves as athletes bank for the the state since it was resuscitated.
“The academicals is one age group competition popular among the primary and secondary schools. We are already in the 4th edition. It is one area to pay special attention also as we normally select players that represent the state in national youth games”, he informed.