Niger Delta ex-militants to study sports management in Barcelona

Gen Paul Boroh

Sixty-six former militants, including some selected youths from crisis-impacted communities in the Niger Delta, were on Tuesday offered scholarships to study sports management fundamentals at the Johan Cruyff Institute of Barcelona, Spain.

The facilitator of the programme in Africa, Faruk Yabo, who also is the CEO of To Be Connected Nigeria, an NGO., said the course contents of the Sports Management Fundamentals, being delivered in Africa for the first time, was put together by the University of Amsterdam, adding that the programme was meant to blend academics with sports education.

In the nature of the course, beneficiaries will combine their studies with training sessions, having three hours lectures every day and at the end of four months, successful participants will be awarded foundation of sports management certificates, which leads them to proceed for post graduate diploma in sports management, sports marketing and sports promotion, he said.

According to Faruk, “The first stage of the course is a four-month foundation in sports management and when you pass that you can proceed for post graduate diploma and once you complete the post graduate diploma, then you are qualified for the master’s degree in sports marketing, sports promotion and sports management.

“The reason we are introducing the course to the ex-agitators of the presidential amnesty programme and young people in the Niger Delta is to give them the opportunity to blend academic and sports because when you are exceptionally talented, most times there is the tendency to disconnect from school,” he said.

Faruk noted that the programme is not a seminar or workshop but an academic educational capacity programme that issues certificates, pointing out that graduands from the programme will find jobs easily because football attracts attention.

He commended the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta/Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, General Paul Boroh for providing the opportunity for youths in the Niger Delta to excel in sports and make it an alternative source of livelihood.

Earlier, the CEO of Sia-One Sports Academy and former Super Eagles’ National Coach, Samson Siasia, expressed confidence in the programme and thanked Boroh for providing the platform for the youths to showcase their sports talents through the Presidential Amnesty-Sport for Peace Initiative in the Niger Delta.

Spokesperson for the beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Sports Scholarship Scheme, Onen Emmanuel Ereng from Cross River State thanked the Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme for finding him and his colleagues worthy for the sports training programme.

The four months intensive sports management course, which has commenced with the first batch of 36 participants out of the first successful 66 at on-going Sia-One Sports Academy Camp in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, is part of the collaboration between the Presidential Amnesty Office and Sia-One Sports Academy, in partnership with a Non-Governmental Organisation, To Be Connected Nigeria.

The Presidential Amnesty-Sport for Peace Initiative in the Niger Delta, sponsored by the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and to Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, urged talented athletes with discipline and self-esteem take the advantage to get to the top in sports management.

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