By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
The Federal Government and representatives of Bayelsa State Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) over the upgrading of the Sports Academy at Asoama, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
The Bayelsa Sports Academy was established by Chief Timipre Sylva when he was governor of the state as a premier institute of sports for the training of young talents.
The institution, which is presently at a temporary site was turned to a model secondary school of learning by the immediate past administration of Hon Seriake Dickson with a focus on formal education and sports training.
The State Commissioner for Sports and Youths Development, Hon. Daniel Igali, while on a tour of the Institute, announced that the Memorandum of Understanding (MUO) with the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports is expected to address the issues of upgrading of the facilities and structures in the academy.
Igali, who met with coaches, teachers, and principal of the academy, Mr. Dickson Akpatako said though there are challenges of poor building facilities, shortage of teachers and truancy, poor sports facilities, and shortage of coaches, “this is a temporary facility. When we have everything completed, the academy will take shape.
“My visit to the institution showed that buildings need to renovation, more teachers and coaches not enough.
“We have an MOU with the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports because our goal is to make the institution accessible to young pupils from other states of the country.
“We are hoping that the expected upgrade will reshape the Institution for excellence.”
Igali, who is also an Olympic champion, assured the management of the Sports Academy of the state government’s commitment to upgrading the institute with more training facilities in boxing, football, wrestling, and Judo.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Education, Hon. Gentle Emelah, who was on the assessment tour of the institution warned against acts of truancy by the teachers deployed to the sports academy.