EXCLUSIVE: Hockey development is progressive in Rivers State - Aurthur Jumbo
Rivers State Hockey Chairman Aurthur Jumbo is proud of Hockey development in his state, he told sportlineng in a phone interview that Hockey in Rivers State is gradually becoming a top sport.
Jumbo who is also a board member of the Nigeria Hockey Federation expressed his happiness at what his administration as achieved so far.
” As an Association we are trying on our own to see that Hockey stay alive especially in Rivers state.
“Last year we had a Secondary School Hockey competition where schools from Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti participated but fortunately Rivers won the tournament”, he said.
He further talked about the “going back to the grassroots ” a project that his administration initiated.
“We are taking Hockey back to Schools, that’s part of the efforts we are making.
“Its not on the government side but as individuals, friends of Hockey, and past players who want the sport to stay relevant.
“We bring out funds from our pockets to get the necessary equipment like; the sticks, balls and we also pay someone who is in charge of the talents we are grooming.
“Presently we have been able to groom talents and we can boldly say the development of Hockey in Rivers state is gradual but progressive.”
The former Obafemi Awolowo University Hockey player also told us about the challenges the association are facing.
“We have a standard Hockey pitch in Rivers, the major problem we have presently is fund.
“We need the government support. I think its a general thing all over the country, government only support football,’ he said.
“We also have issues with schools not allowing their children to participate in the sport and you know without the support of the schools we can’t have the kids.
“Some schools want to be part of the project but don’t have the field and the equipment.”
He suggested that schools should be sensitized on the role of sport in the general development of the children and called on the government and cooperate bodies to support the association in achieving its goals.
“Schools have to be told the importance of sport in the general development of their children. Government can assist with funds and also in the sensitization on the importance of sport.
“Cooperate bodies and private individuals can also help the association by supporting schools interested in the sport but can not afford equipment and the facilities.”