Minister of Sports, Youth and Social Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has urged tertiary institutions to review and update the curriculum for the training of physical health educators towards harnessing the entrepreneurial opportunities in sports.
The minister spoke during the 50th National Conference of National Association for Physical, Health Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance (NAPHER-SD), with the theme: Business Potentials and Tapping in the Profession of Physical, Health Education Recreation, Sports and Dance, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The minister said the draft National Sports Industry Policy the ministry developed in collaboration with Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has re-classified sports from recreation to business.
Dare, who was represented by the Director General of the National Institute for Sports, Prof. Olawale Moronkola, said the intent of the policy was to turn sport into a vehicle for empowerment, development and growth through sports industrialisation agenda.
The minister described sports as a big-time business with many entrepreneurial opportunities to explore in the areas of selling and marketing (products, rights and services) and running gym/fitness centres.
Other areas, he said, include sports media, sports equipment manufacturing, sports clubs and consultancy services, among others.
Dare, who restated the commitment of the government to provide an enabling environment, urged tertiary institutions to tailor their curriculum in line with new trends in the sector.
President of the NAPHER-SD, Prof. Rafiu Okuneye, said the theme of the conference was a wake-up call that the association believed in and keyed into.
“Through this forum, the association would enhance the propagation that sports is business, recreation is business and dance is business. The time to identify and explore all business potentials in our profession is now,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Kabiru Bala, said physical education was one of the disciplines with numerous job opportunities such as teaching, sports coaching, sports management and exercise science, among others.
Bala, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics, Prof. Danladi Ameh, said there was a need for a transparent and credible manner to engage the private sector to collaborate, and ensure deliverables to the practitioners in the sector.
The Chairman of the National Institute for Sports, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, also urged the association to redouble efforts and work closely with state governments toward reviving sports in primary and secondary schools.
“We used to have Physical Education and later physical health education, but this component of education is almost gone in schools.
“Go to our primary and secondary schools, you will not see facilities for physical education or physical health education classes.
“I think this association has a role to play in bringing this lost glory back to the schools,” Galadima said. (Nation)