Olabisi Joseph, the Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) has explained reasons for appointing foremost sports philanthropist Chief Yemi Idowu as their patron.
At investiture held at the National Stadium in Lagos, on Tuesday July 4, NSSF President, Olabisi Joseph described Idowu as a strong supporter of school sports while his involvement in grassroots sports development endeared him to the federation to consider him as patron.
Explaining the rationale behind the appointment of Idowu as patron, Joseph said: “As a distinguished sports personality and a prominent figure in the Nigerian sporting landscape, your vast experience in the sports industry, your dedication to promoting sports at the grassroots level, coupled with your philanthropic initiatives, has positively impacted the lives of many aspiring athletes. Your association with our federation will undoubtedly inspire and motivate our young athletes to achieve excellence.”
“She added: Your dedication to sports, unwavering support for young athletes, and commitment to the development of sports in Nigeria have made you an ideal candidate for this prestigious role.”
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In his acceptance remarks, Idowu, was also instrumental in the transformation of the famous Maracana Stadium in Ajegunle to a world class grass root sports development facility thanked NSSF for the gesture while pledging his commitment to school sports.
“I want to thank the NSSF for considering me for this and I believe that we can all work together and improve the fortunes of school sports in Nigeria. Sports is my passion and it has been my ideal to support sports at grassroots level and with this, my involvement in school sports will increase and I believe we have short, medium and long term goals to take our school sports to an enviable position in the world,” Idowu said.
He however, said as a short term goal, a national school football would be staged across the country with the finals taking place at the famous Maracana Stadium in November later this year.
As a patron of NSSF, Joseph said Idowu is expected to be instrumental in shaping the future of sports in Nigeria as well as guide dance and support in developing strategies to enhance the quality of sporting and education programmes; securing sponsorships for events, and expanding the reach of the federation.
Idowu is a patron of sports at the grassroots with more than 18 years’ experience in sponsorship and management of sports competitions and events. He is also a co-founder and Director of the successful Lagos Junior League and Chairman of Nath Boys Sports Club, an amateur youth sports organization that owns Nath Boys Football Club, two-time champions of the Lagos Junior Premier League and the former champions of the Lagos Metro league.
Nath Boys produced key members of the U17 world cup winning team in 2013 and players like Wilfred Ndidi of English Premier League Leicester City FC.