February 5, 2017 at 11:27 pm #7454
*An open letter FROM COACH OORE to the VC(Prof. Anthony Elujoba) : Revive the rot in OAU sports*
Sir, from generation to generation, writing is (still) seen as a powerful stratagem for transmitting culture. Hence, why I have decided to write you. Sir, I must first commend the effort of school management under your able leadership for the peaceful co-existence now on campus and quick mobilization of recent graduates of our school for NYSC. Kudos sir.
Sports are physical and social activities done according to rules for exercise, competition or recreation. Sporting culture is symbolic, learned and shared. As I write sir, some of our valuable and enviable culture has been weather-beaten. At the last count, we have 13 faculties, 57 departments, 32 Christian fellowships and over 60 churches on campus. Sir, the figures may not be consistent with the one at the office but let’s just neglect that.
Sport is a career path that can be pursued. Unfortunately, in this part of the world, we mimic the vitality and instrumentality of sport that says sport activities cum facilities on OAU campus are in comatose. For instance, the swimming pool on campus is muddled and has become a quagmire. The hockey court is without one single post ;whereas it is a ball game where goals count. Sir, the playing conditions of our basketball, tennis, volleyball and handball courts are all inadequate.
Sir, as an academic lore, some “scientific” truths sometimes attack the accepted wisdom of time immemorial. It is well known that, sports challenges on our campus falls between this unfortunate range .From exploitation of students to diversion of funds, from poor maintenance culture to poor sports participation, from vicious cycle system to athletes unfurling the institution’s flag to poor sports facilities. Over the years, stories of students’ exploitation, prior to usage of sports facilities, is disheartening. For instance, Great Ife students pay “huge” money to access the main bowl.
From findings and investigation sir, to use the main bowl, nothing less than #10,000 is paid. Sir, I am not a mathematician but we can do a simple arithmetic here. We have well over thirty thousand (30,000) students on campus. Furthermore, a breakdown of the tuition fee has showed that each student pays at least #900 for sports. The mathematical implication is that twenty-seven million naira (#270000000) is generated per session for sports “budget”. Yet, in all the halls of residence, TV subscription has not been regular. Thus, demeaning sports as an important instrument of national cohesion. Yes, sports bring people from different ethnic divide, tribes and localities together.
A cursory look at this issue on the other hand says a lot. If the 13 faculties on campus decide to use the field at least twice, the cost implication is such that (13 multiply by 20,000 naira) #260,000 is generated. Sir, if we do that for each departments, fellowships, churches on campus, that is huge a sum to pay. Reducing the cost implication of accessing the main bowl from #10,000 to #5000 is one right choice I wish you make.
In fact, the other field which present usage goes for #5000 should be made free under certain humane conditions. Particularly, any interested person(s) seeking to use such sport facility should go through an official protocol by simply applying for a permit. That in itself will encourage sport activities on our campus. But then, systemic corruption on campus must be destroyed. This is because exploitation and diversion of funds are elements of corruption. To this end, funds set aside for sports management on campus should be adequately monitored and ensured.
Sir, formal sports organization started in 1910 with the introduction of inter-schools’ competition. In recent times, athletes face victimization (from majorly lecturers) on campus for participating in inter-school competitions. Whereas, one way of identifying young talented athletes is through inter-school competitions. Victimization of our athletes is therefore inimical to one major objective of National sports policy, which is to utilize achievements in sports to boost the country’s image in the comity of nations.
Permit me sir to borrow a leaf from Donald Trump’s popular dictum, “we must make great Ife great again in sports”. There was a time when we created conducive environment for sports participation on campus. There was a time when we adequately prepared our athletes for sports competition across and beyond Nigeria. There was a time when we ensured adequate budgetary allocation for sports on campus and provided adequate incentives or motivation for athletes. Quite unfortunate, those times have gone into the vacuum. How do we bring back these times? Sir, it is simple. We have to see sports on our campus as a veritable tool for Research and Development (R&D), as an important platform for syndicating university values and as a means to be self-reliant. Sir, this change begins with you and I, for the course of making sports great again on our campus .
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