Reporter : UCHE NDEKE
Sports journalists have been enjoined to be more varsatile and dedicated to the reportage of sporting activities in and outside the country.
The President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo, gave the piece of advice in Awka during the just concluded one week event of the Anambra State Chapter of the association.
The weeklong activities included novelty match, walk, symposium, and interaction with stakeholders in the sports sector in the area.
The programme climaxed with award and media night where a few individuals who had distinguished themselves in the world of sports were recognized.
SWAN President, Honor Sirawoo, who was represented on the occasion by the National Vice President of the Association in the South East, Chigozie Chukwulota, called on sports journalists to strive always to grow on the job rather than becoming local champions.
“As a sports journalist, you don’t have to just seat one place and be chatting on social media. Try to move round the globe, cover sporting activities in other states of the federation and beyond. Develop passion for your job,” Mr. Sirawoo advised.
A veteran sports Journalist and Special Assistant to the Governor of Anambra State on Media, Mr. Tony Nezieanya, in a paper presentation charged SWAN members to be knowledgeable in the rules and regulations involved in the practice of their profession (sports coverage).
Mr. Nezieanya said sports journalists must be in a position to provide authentic information even as he harped on the need for government and clubs to build venues for sporting events on standard facilities that would nurture sports men and women, especially those at the grassroots.
“Now that sporting activities have been professionalised, it is only fitting that the sports journalist must also professionalise his services to benefit from the growth and development of humanity.
“As professionals in the field, you must be knowledgeable in the rules and regulation involved in the practice of sports and must be in a position to provide authentic information.
“There are general rules and regulations and there are also specific rules guiding a particular game and competition.
“There is an absolute need for the sports journalists to raise their levels too, ICT has come with many tools for the practice excellence in sports journalism.
“If you are a practicing journalist and not ICT-compliant, please look for some other jobs. I recommend that all practicing sports journalists must aspire to cover the World Cup and the Olympic Games, at least once in their lifetime while on the job,” Mr. Nezieanya remarked.
Former Super Falcon international, Maureen Madu, in a remark, said there was the need for talent haunt at the grassroots to discover and harness the talents that would push sports in Nigeria to greater heights.
“I encourage you sports writers for your contributions, which either way helps to encourage us to put more effort. I believe that if we harness the talents in the grassroots, especially the female ones, which am already part of, in the nearest future Anambra will produce more players that will represent Nigeria just like I did,” she stated with optimism.
SWAN Chairman in the State, Mr. Tony Orji, commended the Anambra State Sports Commission for their support and the State government for providing a conducive environment for Sports Writers to carryout their duties diligently.