The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, reiterated the Ministry’s unwavering dedication to grassroots sports development during a visit by the Southampton Powered Community Hub delegation on Wednesday. This hub, affiliated with England’s Southampton FC, aims to contribute significantly to Nigeria’s sports future NEGROIDHAVEN has learnt.
Senator Enoh underscored the vital role grassroots development plays in shaping Nigerian football’s future, expressing the Ministry’s commitment to collaborative efforts with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds for local-level initiatives.
The Southampton Powered Community Hub delegation, featuring distinguished members such as Ed Kilby, Southampton FC Football Development Coordinator; Ben Sharp, Football and Sports Coach; and David Doherty, CEO, TNUK, presented their collaborative vision for advancing grassroots sports in Nigeria.
During the meeting, Eng. Zuofa, Folarin Adebule, and Leon Osahon, integral members of the team overseeing Sports Edu for training young players, referees, and coaches, were also present. This initiative provides on-site and virtual training sessions, capacity building, and employment opportunities for Nigerians within the hub, contributing to sports exports.
Senator Enoh commended the expertise and commitment of the Southampton team, acknowledging their potential contribution to football development at the grassroots level in Nigeria.
“The Ministry of Sports Development is steadfast in prioritizing grassroots development as the cornerstone of Nigerian football’s growth. We embrace collaborations with esteemed partners like Southampton Powered Community Hub, whose dedication aligns with our vision for fostering local talent,” stated Senator Enoh.
The Southampton delegation shared insights into their successful grassroots development models in Abuja and Lagos, expressing eagerness to establish two more hubs in Port Harcourt and Calabar for the advancement of football in Nigeria.
Senator Enoh emphasized the Ministry’s openness to partnerships with relevant stakeholders, aiming to create sustainable pathways for aspiring athletes and enhance Nigeria’s overall sports landscape.
Southampton FC, currently the parent club of Nigerians Joseph Ayodele Aribo and Paul Ebere Onuachu (on loan at Trabzonspor), boasts a connection with players competing for Nigeria at the AFCON in Ivory Coast.