Some sports lovers on Friday in Iseyin expressed their opinions on what they expect from the new Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, the Nigeria News Agency reports.
The sports enthusiasts, who spoke with NAN in separate interviews in Iseyin, also expressed optimism that the new minister would deliver on his mandate.
A 44-year-old professional table tennis player, Moyosore Atobatele, said he was happy with the deployment of Dare to the sports ministry, saying the sector would witness a turn around.
“ I did not know him before his appointment but I listened and watched him during the ministerial screening; he’s such a talented man with loads of experience.
“I hope and pray that he would bring this experience to bear in his new role, what we are expecting is total transformation of the industry, we want a sports ministry that is not crisis-driven.
“He must find a way to ensure that peace reigns in the sports industry, we are tired of mixing sports with politics,” he said.
A football lover, Bambi Abiodun, said the new minister must hit the ground running with the aim of fixing the challenges of sports development in the country.
“There is no time to waste, the challenges are enormous and he must start to work immediately, we must start to feel him as soon as possible.
“He should do some quick fixes while researching on the long term solutions to our challenges, “ he said.
Another football lover, Elizebeth Alade, urged the minister to take interest in other sports other than football.
“I love football but I think sincerely that football is not our major strength in this country, I expect this new man to look for a way to develop other sports too.
“The development of other sports will definitely take lots of our youths away from crime and idleness, our people do well in other sports like wrestling, Judo, Taekwondo and sprinting among others,” she said.
A basket ball enthusiast, Kazeem Isalu, urged the minister to develop interest in basketball development across the country.
“Our male national basket ball team is currently in China on an invitational tournament, it will interest you to know that these guys sourced for funds on their own to enable them represent their country.
“We must begin to do things right and the new minister must source for funds for the boys because they are representing the country and if possible let him breeze in to China to encourage those boys.
“The invitational is a prelude to the World Cup coming up in October and we are treating our players badly; my first assignment for the new minister is to do something about this situation.
“He must also motivate our female national basketball team which just returned from Dakar as African champions after defeating the host, Senegal, in the final to retain their crown,” he said.
(Edited by Mufutau Ojo)