Sunday, 19 August 2018

SUMMER CLINIC: C'river Sports Commission Trains 800 Children

| 19th August 2018 | Kelvin Obambon, Calabar

The Cross River State Sports Commission has at its Summer Clinic trained no less than 800 children in basic football skills.

The programme which is the first of its kind in the state and Nigeria as a whole is aimed at developing and sustaining children's interest in sports. The training exercise which targets children from age six to twelve is also meant to impart basic football skills on them. According to organizers of the programme, registration, and participation in the Summer Clinic is free.

Fielding questions from newsmen during at the end of the one-month-long training programme on Saturday, at the U.J. Esuene Sports Stadium in Calabar, a commissioner in the state sports commission, who is in-charge the Summer Clinic, Mr. Ekanem Ekpenyong, said that the programme is a way of giving the children a sense of belonging, while using the long holiday to teach them basic football skills.

Mr. Ekpenyong stated that the Summer Clinic would be an annual event which would be held every August, adding that it has gotten a place in the state's tourism calendar.

While commending the state government's effort at providing logistical support and creating the enabling environment for hosting the training, the commission's official appealed to groups, individuals and corporate organizations to complement government's effort by assisting with financial support towards the sustenance of the training, even as he advised that sports development should not be left to government alone.

Mr. Ekpenyong also said that adequate modalities have been put in place to tackle emergencies which may arise from the training.

His words, ''Basically, we try to train kids at this level to make them interested in football and also try to give them a sense of belonging in this long holiday period.

''We hope to do this every year because this programme has been put in the tourism calendar of Cross River State. So every summer we are going to have this event happening every August.

''The government has given us logistics and support such as providing training facilities and creating an enabling environment for the programme to take off. We didn't want to make it a solely government event. The development of football and sports, in general, doesn't depend on the state government alone, it depends on individuals as well. Our challenges have been financed. Therefore, for we the organizers, we need finance, and we believe by meeting well-meaning Cross Riverians we are able to get this programme started.

''We provide food for the kids after each training. We have put in place adequate internal security. And we also have doctors from the ministry of health, with a standby ambulance in case of an emergency.''