By: Sunny Canto
Following the successful execution and delivering of the MKO Abiola National Stadium Mainbowl pitch, Abuja which yielded positive reactions; Afrikings Homes decided to follow the leads by adopting, re-grassing, planting of the training pitch with nursery seeds and maintenance of the pitch for two years.
Speaking to news men, the Chairman, Afrikings Homes Ltd, Mr. Kingsley Awodi, said "The full re-grassing will take 8 weeks before it would be handed over to the ministry after which the company will be responsible for its maintenance for two years"
Reacting to the laudable initiative, Sports Minister, (Chief) Sunday Dare applaud Mr. Kingsley Awodi and recall gains of the initiative which began three years ago, "This young man has taken a giant step and deserved to be praised. This, when complete will be part of the achievements that we have delivered. "When about three years ago we commenced the Adopt-A-Pitch Idea, it was with the intention of rescuing our sporting infrastructure and also to improve the welfare of our athletes" Dare told.
Adding, "The first component which we worked on has to do with Adopt-An-Athlete Initiative by creating a funding pathway for our athletes to prepare for the Olympics and the Commonwealth. We have seen the successes of that initiatives, which resulted to great impact. And that is why beginning from next month, we will kick-start that same process towards France 2024 Olympics"
"The Adopt-An-Athlete process will continue. We will put forward our athletes that will go both the home based and the foreign based, then we'll see what we can do for them.
"Also, we began the Adopt-A-Pitch Initiative which we have seen delivered the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, where we have seen more than 14 international matches played there already. We have seen Surulere, Lagos coming up. And for Surulere we just have to be patient to get it right because 19 years abandoned things have rusted, things were stolen, to get it right. We have seen Daura, Kastina Stadium being concluded. To have someone to adopt a pitch here is welcomed and a thing of excitement because I know this would be seen by others and serve as an attraction to others to come. We have several football pitches here and our budget is limited.
"We have started implementing the sports as a business policy which means we must leverage on private sector participation. The National Development Plan 2021-2025 is based on 70 percent private sector funding and 30 percent Federal Government funding. That is the future of development. We must partner with individuals and corporations and I think the sports sector has keyed into it. We will look forward to what can be done in six to eight weeks and that will be really exciting. When it's done and ready, we are going to bring two teams to come and play here so that we can get the feel of it and others can see and do likewise."
Awodi stated that he wished to be part of the success stories recorded by the minister on achievements and the passion he has for football were the reasons he decided to take charge of refurbishing and maintenance of the training pitch for the two years.
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