Sunday Dare, the Minister of Sports, Youth and Social Development, has urged tertiary institutions to review and update their curriculum to train physical health educators towards harnessing the entrepreneurial opportunities in sports.
The minister made the appeal during the 50th National Conference of National Association for Physical, Health Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance (NAPHER-SD) in Zaria, Kaduna.
The conference was titled “Business potentials and tapping in the profession of physical, health education recreation, sports and dance”.
The minister said the draft National Sports Industry Policy developed by the ministry in collaboration with the Nigeria Economic Summit Group has re-classified sports from recreation to business.
Dare, represented by Olawale Moronkola, the director-general, National Institute for Sports, said the policy intended to turn sport into a vehicle for empowerment, development and growth through the sports industrialisation agenda.
He, therefore, described sports as a big-time business with many entrepreneurial opportunities to explore in the areas of selling and marketing (products, rights and services) and running gym/fitness centres.
Other areas include sports media, sports equipment manufacturing, sports clubs and consultancy services, among others.
The minister, who restated the commitment of the government to provide an enabling environment, urged tertiary institutions to tailor their curriculum in line with new trends in the sector.
Earlier in his welcome address, Rafiu Okuneye, the president of NAPHER-SD, said the conference’s theme was a wake-up call; the association believed in and keyed into.
The vice-chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kabiru Bala, said physical education was one of the disciplines with numerous job opportunities such as teaching, sports coaching, sports management and exercise science, among others.
Bala, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics, Danladi Ameh, said there was a need for a transparent and credible manner to engage the private sector to collaborate and ensure deliverables to the practitioners in the sector.
On his part, Ibrahim Galadima, the chairman of the National Institute for Sports, also urged the association to redouble efforts and work closely with state governments toward reviving sports in primary and secondary schools.