THE President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr Honour Sirawoo, has said that every stakeholders should take responsibility for Nigeria’s poor outing at the just-ended Rio 2016 Olympics where the country won just a bronze medal in the male football event.
Sirawoo, stated this shortly after his arrival from Brazil, noting that rather than just heaping blames on the Minister of Youth and Sports, stakeholders including sports administrators, National Assembly committees on sports and sports journalists should also share part of the blame.
“We should all share part of the blame. I guess if we had all raised our voices about Nigeria’s preparation especially judging from our performances at the London Olympics in 2012, though some sports writers did, which were overlooked, am sure we would have had better preparations for the Rio Olympics,” the nation’s number one sports writer stressed.
He recalled that shortly after Nigeria’s poor performance at the London 2012 Olympics, committees were set up to examine the country’s performance and prescribe workable way forward in ensuring better representations in subsequent competitions, emphasizing that if those submissions were followed, Nigeria could have been better positioned at the Games.
The SWAN boss argued further that had the National Assembly Sports Committees in the course of their oversight functions inquired about the athletes’ preparations for the Games and waded into the delay in the release of funds, perhaps we may have had a better outing.
“We can’t continue with this blame game attitude when there were ample opportunities for us to fix the process; for years, we have been shouting after failure without shouting about the process before the failure,” he stated
While commending the Dream Team VI for salvaging some pride for the country through the male football event, the SWAN President enjoined Sports Writers to be alive to their responsibilities of being the watchdogs and report appropriately lapses in the various sports sectors.
“Rio Olympics has just ended. Many countries have started preparations for the 2020 Olympics in Japan. We have no reason not to start preparing from now. As Sports journalists, let me assure you that our members will be on the trail of the sporting federations and to consistently find out what they are doing towards talents’ hunt and moves to keep athletes in shape for future challenges.
Sirawoo expressed reservations that the National Sports Festival which has been a veritable platform for the discovery of talents has been in abeyance for nearly four years and called on the Federal Ministry of Sports and Government of Cross River to urgently resolve pending issues and ensure that the games hold soon.
“Unless we urgently define the place of sports in national development, employment opportunities and international public relations, sports may die a natural death. If that happens, we have to bear with the attendant effects of increase in social vices and youth restiveness. Sports is a wonderful avenue to engage our teeming youths, earn foreign exchange and boost tourism which will in turn benefit the economy of the country,” he summed up.