The Gabify Initiative, a sports Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has tasked the Federal Government to put in place policies that will fast track the development of para-sports in Nigeria.
Ifeanyi Amaobi, Founder of the NGO, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that para-sports was a veritable platform to engage people with disability and win laurels for Nigeria.
Amaobi who commended the feat of Nigerian para-athletes to the just concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the Tokyo Olympics, stressed the need for more attention for them.
“When you talk of the para-athletics in Nigeria, so far so good they have made giant strides and they are doing good pushing so really well to conquer the world.
“We had huge representation in the para-athletic games both in Commonwealth and the Olympics.
“We have a strong community and bright ideas but there is still a lot that can be done for their training and welfare,” he said.
He stressed the need for the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to collaborate more with the private sector in developing para-sports from the grassroots across the country.
“So far, government has been helping to sponsor various international games but we will love it if the government and the private sector can collaborate to increase the outreach and awareness.
“There is need for government to help train people living with disability and also create more awareness at the grassroots so as to be able to harness their talents,” he added.
Amaobi therefore called for the immediate inclusion of para-sports into the bi-annual National Sports Festival and the National Youth Games.
He described para-soccer in particular as a sport Nigeria is endowed with immense talent, and can rule the world, if the talents are properly harnessed and the right structures/facilities put in place.
The Gabify Initiative CEO said the foundation would continue to work with government and relevant stakeholders to ensure capacity building for people living with disability.
NAN reports that the NGO helps para-athletes to achieve full potential in their chosen sports and careers by providing training, equipment, coaching, counseling and final assistance to the athletes.
The boards of six para-sports federations were recently inaugurated by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development with the mandate to reposition the sports.