THE ROLE OF TECHNICAL OFFICIALS AND ADMINISTRATORS IN TRANSFORMING OUR AFRICAN TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS SPORTS TOWARDS BECOMING GLOBAL SPORTS.
BY MALLAM ELIAS F. YUSUF
A PAPER PRESNETED THIS DAY, TUESDAY 17TH DECDMBER 2013 AT THE TRADITIONAL SPORTS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA (TSFN) SEMINAR WORKSHOP AND TRAINING, FOR TECHNICAL OFFICIALS AND ADMINISTRATORS AT MEDIA CENTRE, NATIONAL STADIUM. ABUJA. NIGERIA
it may become a tradition of playing this sports/game at a particular season of the year or may be have been selected to mark certain annual celebration or festival in the town or state of invention. Therefore it has now grown to be called traditional sport of that area. Eventually it has become traditional sport of that niche, town, council, state, region and continent it is invented.
WHAT IS TRADITIONAL SPORT?
A sport is indigenous into the niche, town, locality, state, country and the continent in which the sport was invented. As the sport is being practiced over and over, over the years, it becomes a traditional sport of the place and its immediate environment from where it was invented
So when we refer to African indigenous sports, we are referring to sports that originated from any part of the continent of Africa, remembering that African continent is one of the five continental sport blocks in the world. That is the reason why we have continental sport bodies like COJA, CAF, ANOCA, CONAIS, ATWA, etc and the five rings of Olympic games’ symbol with Africa being represented by the central black ring of the symbol. Alas! That ring is an empty ring as there is no African indigenous sport inside the ring.
It should be noted that we have many indigenous Traditional Sports from Africa and some of them have become quite very popular and well known e.g. Ayo and Kokawa (Traditional Wresting). Some are rising very rapidly to popularity too, such as Abula, Langa, Dambe and African Billiards. These six sports gained this ascendancy to popularity because they have well defined and articulate rules and regulations that have been frequently subjected to high class usage during the National Sport Festival in Nigeria and other high class championships in traditional sports and serious scrutiny in our coaching and technical clinics organized by TSFN always always before the National Sport Festival.
This is where the ROLES OF TECHNICAL OFFICIALS comes in handy and very essential in TRANSFORMING OUR TRADITIONAL SPORTS GLOBAL SPORTS. Hence this clinic for our Technical, administrative and Coaching Officials who care and quite wise to join will further equip us in uplifting our sports to greater height. This is real capacity building in Traditional Sports.
First and foremost role of a technical official is to obey the slogan of ancient Greece, which states that “ a sound mind in a sound body”. Our technical officials must do everything to keep himself/herself healthy because health is wealth. He/she must engage himself/herself in a regular physical fitness exercises. He may need to pass some fitness test as the case may be – when undergoing the training of becoming a recognized or licensed referee or judge.
He should be updating himself in coaching clinics like this. He must actually be officiating in order to gather practical experience. He should be watching videos of matches at home as home study not just for enjoyment.
After all these rudimentary involvement in technical officiating, he will now go extra miles of moving to the realm of transforming our traditional sports to global sports by doing the followings
- Should be keeping private records of events for the future
- Should be in the vanguard of documenting all the local traditional sports in his locality or state
- He can write book(s) on them
- Should be a propagator of the sport(s) or a particular sport of his choice or which he is highly knowledgeable.
- He should also be a research vanguard on these sports
- He should have direct access to the HOD of his own particular sport(s)
- He should be a financial member of his own particular Coaching Association
- He should be somebody who must be ready to mentor the younger ones on the sports of his specialty
- He should be interested to be in the vanguard of those securing sponsors for our traditional sport
- Should be a big promoter of peace and progress as a team player in the group
- He should command the respect of watching audience by officiating efficiently, honestly, enthusiastically and without fear or favour and without losing concentration or steam.
With all these, the technical officials are already playing the roles that will transform our Traditional Sports to Global Sports
However, the need to have our African Traditional Sports transformed can be over emphasized when we are aware that the bulk of all athletics events in the Olympic Games were Traditional Sports of Ancient Greece, the bulk of martial sports today are sports from Asia and majority of the ball games in the Olympic Games originated from the west, i.e Europe and American continents. Not a single sport came from Africa.
The question is “should we continue to remain as mere consumers of other people’s sports?”. Our Technical Official say “NO” to this question by passing the bulk through administrators – to the government by advocacy.
So we shall examine the role of the administrator under the Traditional Sports Federation of Nigeria (TSFN).
THE ROLE OF TSFN (Administrator)
Traditional Sports Federation of Nigeria (TSFN) being the sports federation that controls the Technical Officials of the sports under her jurisdiction has some important roles to play in order to enhance the effectiveness of the roles played by the technical officials.
Few essential ones will be elucidated here.
- TSFN is the prime mover of ideas to be pursued by the technical officials
- TSFN as a prime mover will also dream the dreams that technical officials will support and practiced
- Executes programmes and projects in their dreams toward promoting out traditional sports to global sports
- Keep accurate records for posterity and future improvement
- Get sponsors for championships and programmes of the sports federation
- Get partnership projects for developing our sports e.g. UNESCO, State Government, Local Government, Companies, other ministries like ministry of Education, Culture and Tourism, Agencies like NTA, National Orientation Agency, Traditional Rulers, Cultural Festivals etc
- Execute programs transparently to encourage sponsors for further support
- Have department for each sport and each department to be headed by a board member
- Research and documentation department that will also deal with the publication of our rules book and our authoritative magazine.
- Ensure that our sports are propagated across board of Nigeria and African Communities and participate in championship like All African Games, National Sports Festivals, Youth Games (NYG), School Sports Games, NUGA, NICEGA, RIGAN, NIPOGA, Police Games, Armed Forces Games etc, so that our traditional sports will permeate all the sporting strata of our society.
ROLES OF GOVERNMENT
Without mincing words, the Federal Government of Nigeria led the liberation of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Liberia etc; she must liberate African Traditional Sports. Nigeria is the HEART OF AFRICA in terms of culture and tradition. Nigeria should sort out the matter of not having an African Indigenous Sports in the Olympic games. It is the only country that has featured traditional sports at the All African Games (2013)
By popular advocacy, let the Federal Government of Nigeria vote 12 Billion naira now to develop the current six Traditional sports in our rules and regulation book to global sports and from which IOC could pick which ones she could adopt as Olympic Sports within now and the next four Olympic Games.
Enough is enough. We should not just be mere consumers of other people’s sports, especially in our schools, at the All African Games and the Olympic Games. It is time to fill the empty black ring of the Olympic symbol with African indigenous sports.
Our technical officials, Ladies and Gentlemen, we must transform our indigenous Traditional Sports to Global Sports and Olympic Sports within now and the next decade.
Thanks for Reading