Sports Minister Receives Southampton Powered Community Hub, Affirms Ministry’s Dedication to Grassroots Development

Sports Minister Receives Southampton Powered Community Hub, Affirms Ministry’s Dedication to Grassroots Development

*Says Ministry remains open to partnerships to create sustainable pathways for aspiring athletes

The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has stated that the Ministry is dedicated to fostering grassroots sports development to guarantee the future of sports in the country.

He made the statement during the visit of the Southampton Powered Community Hub delegation to his office on Wednesday. The Hub is affiliated with Southampton FC of England.

Senator Enoh emphasized the pivotal role grassroots development plays in shaping the future of Nigerian football. He expressed the Ministry’s dedication to working collaboratively with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to propel local-level development initiatives.

The UK-based Southampton Powered Community Hub delegation, comprised of distinguished members including Ed Kilby, Southampton FC Football Development Coordinator; Ben Sharp, Football and Sports Coach; and David Doherty, CEO, TNUK. They presented their collaborative vision for advancing grassroots sports in Nigeria.

Eng. Zuofa, Folarin Adebule, and Leon Osahon, integral members of the  team directly responsible in coordinating Sports Edu which is for training young players, referees and coaches,were also present during the meeting.

The training affords Nigerians in these various hubs on site and virtual training sessions, capacity building and employment within the hub and making them sports exports.

Senator Enoh lauded the expertise and commitment demonstrated by the Southampton team, recognizing the contribution they can bring to the development of football at the grassroots level in Nigeria.

In his statement, Senator Enoh said, “The Ministry of Sports Development is resolute in its pursuit of grassroots development as the cornerstone of Nigerian football’s growth. We welcome collaborations with esteemed partners like Southampton Powered Community Hub, whose dedication aligns with our vision for fostering talent at the local level.”

The Southampton delegation shared insights into their successful grassroots development models currently in Abuja and Lagos.

They expressed their eagerness to start two more hubs in Port Harcourt and Calabar for the advancement of football in Nigeria.

Enoh added that the Ministry of Sports Development will remain open to partnerships with relevant stakeholders, in a bid to create sustainable pathways for aspiring athletes and enhance the overall sports landscape in Nigeria.

Southampton FC is currently the parent club of two Nigerians: Joseph Ayodele Aribo and Paul Ebere Onuachu (Paul is on loan at Trabzonspor), who are both competing with Nigeria at the AFCON in Ivory Coast 

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