The Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode O. Adebowale, mni, FAS, has lamented the fall in the standards of sports development in Nigeria.
The Vice-Chancellor who spoke while receiving a team from the Nigerian Olympic Committee on a courtesy visit to his office said it was disheartening that there were no functional sports academies in the country.
He attributed the fact that Nigerians are not excelling in world sports to the shortcomings in sports development.
He noted that sports encourage the total development of an individual, adding that the sports academies would have helped to identify talents even at very young ages.
He said Nigerian Universities needed to have sports academies but would require a lot of funds to establish them.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, universities provide the grounds for the development of sports talents.
Professor Adebowale recalled that many students in the past were offered university admissions because of their sporting prowess.
He said there was no doubt that sports is very important and that the relevance can not be overemphasised.
The leader of the visiting team, Honourable Tunde Popoola of the Nigerian Olympic Committee, noted that most Nigerian athletes are from universities.
He said it was therefore important for the Directors of Sports of Nigerian Universities to know the many sports of the Olympic Games to enable them to bring out the best in their athletes.
The visiting team was in the University of Ibadan for a three – day conference organised by the International Olympic Committee in collaboration with the Nigerian Universities Games Association for Directors of Sports and Head Coaches of Nigerian Universities.
It is an Olympic value education programme that would emphasise the core values of respect, friendship, and excellence.