SWAN Week: Don’t Be Afraid To Report Facts, Odikpo urges Sports Writers
Sports Writers have been urged to be fearless in reporting activities in the sports sector.
Emeka Odikpo, a renowned broadcaster and forner Head of Sports and Director, Programmes at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) said this while delivering a lecture at the 2021 edition of Sports Writers of Nigeria (SWAN), Anambra Chapter Week in Awka.
The theme of the Lecture was “Sports Writing in a Challenging Environment: Anambra State in Focus”
Odikpo said the mediocrity in sports was as a result of administrators who knew little about what to do and complacency of sports writers who should keep them in check.
The retired director served as South East Zonal Director and Director, Lagos Operations at FRCN said he spent most of his work life reporting sports and though he may not have made best friends with sports administrators, he was happy to have them on their toes.
He said journalists should be bold to report what was happening in the sports sector without sentiment, noting that ‘if nothing was happening, report it that nothing is happening’.
“Though some things have happened in Anambra but we still have a long way to go, where are our Udoji FC, Jasper FC, Gabros FC, why have we not bidded for the National Sports Festival, that alone will put pressure on the State government to do more.
“Anambra SWAN must wake up, you are not attached to the Sports Commission, those days in Lagos, we were seen as rebel because when the sports ministry felt so relaxed, we created our “Madam SWAN” where we wrote stories that shook the ministry.
*We can’t be making progress without movement, it cannot continue to be de javu, as sports Writers we must realise our place as masters of ceremony in the sports sector, we are the people that will great the momentums needed to push the sector.
“Don’t see your objectivity as being anti government, don’t be afraid to tell the stories they way they are, you are in rare field as sports writers.,
“We need to be pace setters, agenda setters, opinion molders and drivers if sports in Anambra, we should show our presence by making sure we inform the world of the events here,” he said
He congratulated the Anambra Government for the efforts they have made and urged SWAN to continue to contribute their quota by making objective critiquing of the situation.
In Keynote address, Tony Oli, chairman of Anambra State Sports Development Commission said the commission since its formation in 2018 had taken sports from ground zero to an enviable height.
Oli said Anambra had had remarkable improvement in its performance in national competitions and a good number of athletes in various national teams.
He said the hosting of 2020 Nigeria Police Games led to the building of sports infrastructure adding that the tartan track at Awka Township Stadium had been completed while laying of the hybrid football pitch will be completed this week.
He said the finals of the U13 and U17 football matches would be played on the pitch before Christmas.
Two awards were given to deserving members including Anambra Independent Football League managed by Rev. Coach Obinna Dike as the Best Organized Grassroots Football League in Anambra.
Agu Ejidike, Nigeria Pillar of Sports was recognised as Worthy Anambra Ambassador of Sports Development in Nigeria.
The SWAN Week started on Dec 7 with courtesy call in the Mr Noble Igwe, Chairman Anambra House Committee on Sports, Tourr of Awka Township Stadium, Indoor Games and 5-aside football game at the Alex Ekwueme Square.