Post COVID-19 template, recipe for sports’ revival — Promoter

Christopher Ojo, sports promoter and sponsor of the 10km annual Owan Marathon Race, says design of a post COVID-19 template is the needed recipe for sports revival in the country.

Ojo, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Benin, said the template would include strategies for gradual recovery of sporting events from impact of the pandemic.

He noted that due to the huge impact of the pandemic on sports development, recovery efforts should not be left to government alone.

Ojo said that it was time multinational companies and other organisations played critical role in sports development in the country.

He said that not only had the sporting sector lost billions of dollars due to the pandemic, it had been extremely difficult to scout and groom talents.

Ojo said that it would take years for the world of sports to fully recover from the effects of the pandemic.

According to him, COVID-19′ impact on sport is global, considering the fact that Olympics and other global sporting events have either been postponed or canceled.

“The same pandemic affected the annual Owan Marathon which preparations usually begin way ahead of time.

“No doubt that some of these sporting activities had been planned for years and huge amount of money spent for their successful hosting.

“Not only were some of these funds lost, but the sporting calendar is completely altered due to the impact of the pandemic.

“Until the virus is completely contained, I doubt if there will be any major sporting event with big crowds unless appropriate measures are in place to maintain social distance.

“It is in this regard that I am calling on the government to come out with a post COVID-19 template on sports in Nigeria.

“The template will spell out roles of critical stakeholders, and fashion out ways for us to fully recover from the impact of the pandemic on sporting activities,” Ojo said. (NAN)