By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Anambra Chapter, has rejected plans by the Anambra State Government to use part of the Park A of the Awka Township Stadium for a car park for fun seekers at the proposed amusement park.
SWAN which made the call in a communique issued after its September meeting and co-signed by Anthony Oji and Chimezie Anaso, Chairman and Secretary of the body of sports writers in Anambra, urged the government to make the stadium a Games Village which would contain a hotel, indoor sports hall and training pitches.
‘Develop the Awka Township Stadium to an Olympic stadium and centre for sports excellence in the Southeast,’ SWAN urged the government.
SWAN commended Soludo for increased activity in the sports sector and consistency of the state at national competitions in the last one year.
SWAN advised that the Park A section of the Awka Township Stadium should not be used as a car park for fun seekers at the proposed Solution Fun City but building of a Games Village which would contain a hotel, indoor sports hall, and training pitches.
This, it said, would help the arena retain the semblance of a sports stadium and also continue to enjoy the approval already obtained for staging top class football matches.
According to the communique, Anambra State had recorded a remarkable spike in the level of sports activities in the last one year.
‘SWAN expresses concern over inadequate government owned sports facilities in Anambra and therefore call on Gov. Chukwuma Soludo to reconsider his plans to convert part of the Awka Township Stadium to an amusement park.
‘The Awka Township Stadium can actually be developed into an Olympic Sports Arena and be used by Anambra as a centre of sports excellence in the Southeast.’
SWAN called on the Anambra Government to partner existing private sports investments in the state as a way of bridging the sports infrastructure gap in the state.
It said it should no longer be a ground for discovering and breeding talents but a convergence point for national sports competitions.
SWAN appreciated the Anambra Government for bringing back the school sports festival after over 10 years and pleaded that it should be sustained, noting that it was the surest pathway to returning to its days of glory in sports.
‘We are impressed with the level of participation and performances of Anambra at national competitions and wish the state contingent success at National Youth Games coming up in Delta State later this month.
‘We identify with the significant improvement in the sports sector under the current management of Anambra State Sports Development Commission and call for increased funding for the Sector.
‘We want to reiterate our readiness to partner Prof. Chukwuma Soludo’s Administration for the success of the emerging sports economy in Anambra,’ the body said.