19 June 2020
The Honourable Commissioner for Sports and Cinematography, Chief Offu Aya has charged youths in the State to adequately utilise every available opportunity in sports and other sectors to enhance themselves and make the State proud, informing that the commencement of American Football in the State is one of such opportunities to be utilized.
The Commissioner who stated this during the inaugural meeting for the commencement of American Football in Cross River State, disclosed the commencement of esports in the State and the opportunities it provides for youths across the State. He further informed that there is yet another sport known as American Football, which is to kick off in tertiary institutions in the State, soonest and urged the youths to get involved and enhance themselves.
In his remarks, the SA Sports Commission, Mr Tom Aniah disclosed that an American based Obudu born Cross Riverian was behind the introduction of American Football in South Africa and Nigeria, with Cross River State chosen as the pilot State for the sport. He disclosed that all necessary registrations and documentations have been made in the USA to ensure a smooth debut of the sport in Cross River State.
Mr Aniah also added that the mandate given to the ministry is to constitute management boards in the three higher institutions and their campuses for now, namely: the University of Calabar, Cross River State University, Calabar and College of Education, Akamkpa, adding that as time progresses, the same exercise would be cascaded to other schools across the State.
According to him, this will be followed by training of coaches, supply of kits and equipments to the selected schools and affiliating them with sponsor universities in the USA. He noted that other opportunities that will be provided include formation of a National team that would be exposed to international competitions in addition to the school teams, scholarships abroad, technical and financial support to the schools, teams and officials.
Mr. Aniah also emphasised the need to take the sport seriously so that the State does not lose her debut rights to other States in Nigeria.
Others Present at the meeting were the Directors of Sports in the University of Calabar (UNICAL) , Dr. Mrs. Anam and her counterpart in the University of Cross River State, Dr. Ukpong alongside a select team from the ministry.