The President of United Furniture Dealers’ Association of Nigeria, Emeka Egwuekwe, has urged the federal government and wealthy Nigerians to deploy sports as effective tool for youth development and to fight crime and criminalities.
In a statement to mark the end of the Enugu-Agidi Unity Cup tournament he sponsored, he noted that he was inspired to organize the football tournament as a means of engaging the youths and fostering unity in the community.
Tagged Apakata 2020, Prince Egwuekwe, who is also the Managing Director of Prince Interior Furniture and Furnishing Company Limited, decried the spate of insecurity and kidnapping in the country, noting that only engaging the youths effectively in productive ventures will combat their nefarious activities.
“It is often said that sport has an inherent ability to bring people together, in particular the youth, and yet until recently, the tremendous potential of sport for development to achieve youth development objectives has been under utilized.
“By its very nature, sport encourages participation bridging national, ethnic, social and religious divides. It is precisely for this reason that sport, when used as a tool for development, can serve as an impetus for social transformation and change!
“Sport for development aspires to achieve social impact by using sport, play and physical activity. Alongside its importance in the field of education, sport can also serve as a tool in areas of health promotion, HIV prevention, gender equality, violence prevention, conflict resolution, good governance, inclusion, and environment all of which are prime issues concerning young people today,” he added.
Prince Egwuekwe further pointed out that “Sports Development Program (SDP) is focused on peace building and conflict resolution create an environment in which people can come together to work towards the same goal; show respect for others and share space and equipment.
“When utilized in a correct manner, sport enhances self-esteem and self-confidence and promotes responsible behavior.
By taking part in sport, children and young people learn to manage victory as well as defeat.
They acquire life skills that help them deal with challenging situations and improve their long-term prospects.
“Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say sports for development initiatives could potentially contribute to peace building and conflict resolution,” he noted.