Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Federal Government and the representatives of the Bayelsa State Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) over the upgrading of the Sports Academy located in Asoama, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the State.
The Bayelsa Sports Academy established in 2003 during the era of former governor Timipre Sylva as a premier institute of sports for the training of young talents in the country was made a model school by the Henry Seriake Dickson administration with emphasis on formal education and sports training.
The State Commissioner of Sports and Youths Development, Hon. Daniel Igali who disclosed this in an interview after a tour of the Academy explained that the MOU with the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports is expected to address the issues of upgrading of the facilities and structures in the academy.
Igali, who met with coaches, teachers and principal of the Academy, Mr. Dickson Akpako acknowledged that there are challenges of the poor infrastructural facilities, shortage of teachers and truancy, poor sports facilities and shortage of coaches.
He however assured the management of the Sports Academy of the state government’s commitment at upgrading the institute with more training facilities in boxing, football, wrestling, Karate and Judo.
“This is a temporary facility. When we have everything completed, the academy will take shape.
“My visit to the institution showed that buildings need to renovated, more teachers and coaches not enough. We have an MOU with the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports because our goal is to make institution accessible to young pupils from other states of the country. We are hoping that the expected upgrade will reshape the Institution for excellence.”
Also Speaking, the State Commissioner for Education, Hon. Gentle Emelah, who was also on the assessment tour of the institution warned against acts of truancy by the teachers deployed to the sports academy.