If you thought that awarding Nigeria the hosting rights for the 2018 World wrestling Championship will bring delight to many, then you have to think again.
On Saturday August 19, United World Wrestling Federation released a statement awarding the hosting rights of the 2018 Africa Junior and senior wrestling championship to Rivers State, Nigeria .
The news brought about celebration within the wrestling family and beyond .
Reason not too far fetched that Nigeria won the bid over Tunisia, the first time the Africa Championship will be hosted in Sub Sahara Africa after 10 years.
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While speaking at the SWAN Platform, a forum organised by a Port Harcourt based journalist Ufuoma Egbamuno in conjunction with Rivers State Sports Writers Association, SWAN, former Rivers State Hockey chairman, Arthur Jumbo is rather saddened about the development.
Jumbo believes the money that will be spent on hosting the championship should have been channeled to talent discovery and sports development.
“I feel sad. How many wrestlers do we have in the state? What are our input in the welfare of wrestlers? How have they been faring? He asked.
“It’s not enough to just bring in Championship to the state . You will need millions of naira or dollars on host the tournament. It is not about bringing the championship here to make name. If you ask all of them in the sports ministry to mention how many wrestlers in this state they don’t know.”
“It’s annoying, the few ones we have might just be 2 or 3 the others are from Ondo, Edo etc. We don’t have athletes from the state,” he disclosed.
Will the state wrestlers be part of it? Will they make the national team? It will be better if you bring in instructors here to train them and the next six months we will have over 100 wrestlers and we will spend less than a quarter of what will be spent on that Championship,” Jumbo said.
The ex-international thinks Rivers State indigenes have little to offer in the national team. He advised the Rivers State government to employ coaches in schools to develop the sports in the state.
“You have to develop your man power. We don’t have coaches any more in our schools. In the last festival, more than half of the athletes were not from here. You see a Rivers team playing and they don’t even know themselves, their names, they use signs instead. And that’s because they use imported players which I am not against but why can’t you develop sports in your state? He concluded.