Godspower Odedede

A sport professional and a fitness expert,  Mr Godspower Odedede has challenged the change of name of the College of Physical Education, Mosogar, Delta State to just a College of Education saying that the change of name would not improve the institution.

He said instead of changing the name of the institution, what the State Government would have done was to convert the Institute into a full fledged University of Physical Education.

Odedede who spoke to our correspondent in an interview in Warri emphasized that Governor Ifeanyi  Okowa was ill advised by those handling the educational sector, adding that those who gave him the advise do not have the welfare of Deltans at heart.

“I want to use this opportunity to draw the attention of the Government to a grave mistake it made by changing the name of College of Physical Education to College of Education. When I heard the news I was not happy because changing the name will not solve the problem. Renaming that school does not make any different.

“Government should have turned the school into a full fledged University of Physical Education. The University should have Sports Engineering Department because engineering is changing sports in the world. The people that took that decision are short-sighted because they do not know anything about Sports. Sports today is all about Technology. You can talk about Sports marketing and promotion. Look at what Uniben is doing today with the Department of Physical Education. Today they have Department of Human Kinetics and Physical Education. Under the faculty of Human Kinetics a student can decide to study just coaching, marketing and other discipline as a degree. As a pioneer graduate of that school, I strongly disagree with the change of name of the College of Physical Education to just College of Education,” the Sports expert said.

Odedede who is the Secretary of the Nigeria Association for Physical Health Education Recreation Sports and Dance (NAPHER-SD), South South region, also said the reason why Sports development in the country was dying was as a result of the alleged neglect of school Sports.

He said until sports professionals were given opportunity to handle sports in the country, sports development in the country will continue to be in shambles.

“I want to tell Nigerians that something is wrong with school sports and its high time we used the right people to do the right thing. School sports must take its rightful position. NAPHER-SD is not an ordinary body because it is recognized by the National Policy on Education. The Director of School Sports need to recognize NAPHER-SD if they want School Sports to develop, they need to encourage Inter House Sports in schools. In the just concluded National Festival in Ilorin, we picked some school children from Blessed Seed Academy, Enerhen, these children came first, second and third positions in Scrabble. To revive school sports, we must put square pegs in square holes,” he said.

Odedede who is contesting for the position of National President, Amputee Football Federation, said he is happy that the state governor has said inter-house Sports is compulsory in all schools, but lamented that implementation of the policy has become a problem.

“This is good but the problem is implementation. You are asking them not to collect money,  so how do you expect them to organize these inter-house Sports? Another thing is the Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) dues being paid by Secondary School Students .We do not know where the money is going. These funds are supposed to be used to organize inter-house sports in the schools but today we don’t  see it.

“Another problem is that we are concentrating too much on athletics. Athletics is not the only sport that we have. We have a catalogue of other sports. Every sport was introduced by the missionary and they did this by making sure that all the sport facilities are in schools. Governor Okowa should choose some schools and build swimming pools in them. Some government schools do not even have good football playing fields. We must revamp school Sports,” he said.

Odedede said since his emergence as the Secretary of NAPHER-SD, Delta State has experienced major milestone in the development of sports in the state, adding that NAPHER-SD must take its rightful place in Sports in the country.

” NAPHER-SD is the only sport Association that does sports research. We are responsible for School Sports and we are supposed to be the only Association that is responsible for officiating any School Sports. But because of politics, this role has been taken from us. The Principal Cup that is ongoing is supposed to be officiated by the NAPHER-SD, he added.