By Chinedum Ohanusi
The Kwara State Government has charged Nigerian women to actively participate in sports; either as athletes or administrators.
Describing Sports as ‘a profession for all’ Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq stated this in his address on Thursday’s plenary of the 11th National Conference of Association of Nigerian Women in Sports, holding in Ilorin.
Represented by the Executive Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission,
Mallam Bola Mogaji,
the Governor lauded NAWIS for complementing the efforts of government at all levels, in sports development, and by convening such an important conference.
Declaring the 2-day Conference open, Mallam Mogaji
said the Kwara State Sports Commission will work towards securing an office for the association in the state capital.
He also expressed optimism that the discussions, submissions and deliberations during the two-day event will surely provide solutions to the barriers and hindrances facing women in sports, in the whole of Nigeria.
In her address, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen advocated for effective mentorship for women, to better equip them in proffering solutions to some of the challenges and obstacles militating against their progression and development in sports.
Mrs Tallen, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Dr Jemilat Bio Ibrahim said women are facing numerous challenges in all sectors not only in sports, but believed that with the National Conference organised by NAWIS, appropriate recommendations would be proffered as remedy to some of the drawbacks.
Nationsl President of NAWIS, Mrs Florence Bola Adeyanju said the association had been in the fore-front of improving the status of girls and women since the inauguration of the body in 1990, and promised not to relent in promoting their interests, especially in the area of sports participation and administration.
While highlighting some of the milestones of the association, which includes sponsorship of sports competitions for girls in primary and secondary schools, engaging women in various communities in keep-fit programme and creating awareness on sexually transmitted diseases during sports programme, Mrs Adeyanju thanked the wife of the Kwara state Governor, Dr Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, for her support towards the hosting of the Conference in Ilorin.
She said that the Conference, with the theme “Pushing the Boundaries and Inspiring Positive Changes in the Challenges facing Nigerian Women in Sports” was a veritable platform for the creation of greater awareness among Nigerians that sports can be beneficial to all, regardless of gender.
In her lecture, Dr Blessing Annam, highlighted some of the challenges facing women in sports to include discrimination, parental influence and abuse, even as she advised that NAWIS needs to bridge the lopsided gap in favour of men, especially in sports.
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