Sportsmen and women in Imo State are very important and huge resource base for development, Sports Ambassador, Prince Eleazar Onywuchi Ogbonna, has said.
According to him, sports is a very big industry all over the world and thrives on the tripod of talented athletes, infrastructure and quality administration, adding that athletes remain the most important for results.
“Sports in Imo State is a huge industry that was yet to be explored for the benefit of the state. I am interested in them because I see them as a reservoir of resources with the potential of impacting very positively in the socio-economic development of the state.
“They need all the encouragement and support for maximum result. Unfortunately, there are some of the athletes out there who gave their youth for the glory of the state but are today living in penury. It is not encouraging and does not inspire the younger talents to give their best for the glory of the state. This is the main reason I instituted a welfare scheme for former sportsmen and women in the state.
“The programme which will be administered through the plat of Prince Ogbonna Development Foundation (PODEF), includes the disbursement of upkeep allowance on quarterly bases to the athletes. The objective is to give them hope through support and empowerment. It is open to all sports men and women who are alive.”
Prince Ogbonna, who is commitment to sports development in the state, especially at the grassroots, expressed his optimism that the State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma will make sports development as one of the key point agenda of his administration.
“We have a sports –loving Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, whom I trust will re-engineer the Imo sports and build a legacy that will stand the test of time. I am ready to give every support to the state government sports policy to rebuild the sector as proactive effort towards harnessing the potential of sports talents in the state,” he said.