A member of the Ogun State Civil Service Commission, Adewale Ojuri, and his counterpart in the state’s Teaching Service Commission, Adeleye Ademola, have called for greater investment in sports development, particularly grassroots boxing tournaments.
They made this call, according to a statement on Monday, during an interaction with journalists at the Bet9ja grassroots boxing tournament held in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State.
Ojuri said, “Sports generally is now a money-spinning venture, it is one sector of the economy that has the capability to take many youths off the streets, with many of them ultimately becoming stars making names for themselves and doing the country proud.
“It is against this background that I want to call on other organisations and privilege individuals in our society to take a cue from Bet9ja and team up with government to further develop our sports, particularly, boxing, so that we can take back our front seat in this game.”
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Adeleye said, “The importance of sports in youth development cannot be over-emphasised. It’s one rich platform for the youth to utilise their overwhelming energy productively.
“Rather than engaging in vices like cultism and the likes, they channel such energy towards efforts that will take them to the top, becoming models for others like Anthony Joshua, world champion and record holder, Tobi Amusan and the rest.”
Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Adesegun Akinbowale and Alade Johnson, said the boxing tournament was another way Bet9ja had helped to develop the sporting industry.