A commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission, Mrs Iyabo Odulate, told parents on Wednesday to desist from discouraging their children and wards from participating in sporting activities.
Odulate, representing Lagos and Ogun in the Commission, made the appeal at the 41st Inter-house Sports of the Federal Government College, Sagamu, near Abeokuta in Ogun State.
Odulate, was represented at the event by Mrs Omolara Sansa, National Secretary of the Trade Union Congress Women Commission.
She said that parents should know that sports were an integral part of education and that it had become a global money-spinning industry in which many Nigerians at home and abroad were benefiting from.
“Parents, who may still be living in the stone age when sports was regarded as the last option for dullards should desist from such thinking.
“Sporting activities have got much to do with religion as every religion believes in good health, which means that sporting activities are embedded in all of them.”
Odulate described the Federal Government Girls’ College, Sagamu as an institution that has produced lots of notable women in society.
“The products of this school have excelled in virtually every field of endeavour and they have taken girl-child education to an unparalleled level.”
She also told students to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship in whatever they engaged in because sports had become a rallying point, unifying factor and means of psycho-motor development.
The principal of the college, Mrs Oluwatofunmi Akamo, said there was the need to occasionally engage students in sporting activities to boost their physical and mental fitness.
Akamo said that “a sound mind needs a sound body’’ and that this was necessary for students to pass their examinations.
“For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Education in line with the National Policy on Education ensures that sporting activities are organised not only within the college but outside the zone.
“Recently, our girls participated at the just-concluded Federal Government Colleges Games and they won medals.
“It will not be wrong to say that it is only in sports that Nigerians speak with one voice.”
Akamo, who is also a director in the Federal Ministry of Education, advised students to show determination at all times because life’s race needed to be completed whether one was feeling out of breath or not.
She appealed to parents and individuals to assist the school by renovating the Sports pavilion provide facilities for both track and field events as well as trainers, to harness the sporting skills of students of the college.
Mrs TitilayoAakinsehinde, National President of the Old Students Association of the College, said that engaging in sporting activities would boost students’ mental capacities and improve education standards.
Akinsehinde urged parents to encourage students to participate in sporting activities all the time.
“When we were in school, every morning we engaged in sporting activities by jogging and running which really boosted and refreshed our brains and minds for the day.
“The federal government should put all federal government colleges in mind by improving standards in the colleges, increasing teachers’ salaries and providing teaching aids,” she said.