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AbdulRazaq pledges to support women participation in sports

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has pledged to support women’s participation in sports and stop discrimination against them. AbdulRazaq however charged women to be actively involved in sports, both in participation and administration, to further boost the sector as a profession for all.

He spoke on Wednesday through the Executive Chairman of the State Sports Commission, Bola Mogaji, at the National Conference of Association of Nigerian Women in Sports (NAWIS) at Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin.

AbdulRazaq, who applauded the association for complementing the efforts of the present administration in sports development through the hosting of the conference, said that the sports commission would work towards securing an office for the association in the state.

While declaring the conference opened, Mobolaji said their discussions, submissions and deliberations at the two-day event would provide solutions to the barriers and hindrances facing women in sports.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Paul Tallen, advocated for effective mentorship for women to proffer solutions to some of the challenges and obstacles hindering their progress and development.

Represented by the Senior Special Assistant on SDG to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Dr Jemilat Bio-Ibrahim, the minister noted that women were facing numerous challenges in all sectors not only in sports.

But Tallen believed that with the national conference organised by NAWIS, appropriate deliberations and recommendations would be proffered as a remedy to some of the challenges.

The National President of the association, Mrs Florence Adeyanju, said NAWIS had been at the forefront in improving the status of girls and women since the inauguration of the body in 1990, promising not to relent in promoting them, especially in the area of sports participation and administration.

Adeyanju highlighted some of the milestones of the association including the sponsorship of sports competitions for girls in primary and secondary schools.

She said the association had engaged women in various communities to keep programme and create awareness on sexually transmitted diseases during sports programme.

The NAWIS president thanked the wife of Kwara governor, Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, for her support towards the hosting of the conference in Ilorin.

She said that the conference, which is themed “Pushing the Boundaries and Inspiring Positive Changes in the Challenges facing Nigerian Women in Sports”, averred that greater awareness would be created among Nigerians that sports can be beneficial to all, regardless of gender.

Earlier, the Chairperson of the association in the state, Mrs Adebola Esan, said NAWIS is a voluntary and Non-Governmental Organisation offering sustained tremendous assistance in the SDG5Z agenda of 2030 and UNESCO’s adaptation of equal opportunity to participate in physical activities and sports decision making in the country.

She commended AbdulRazaq for developing sports in all ramifications, noting that the achievements of the body since its inauguration in the state have been tremendous, including honouring female athletes who represented the state and payment of WAEC/JAMB fees of young athletes, among others.

Dr Blessing Annam, in her lecture, highlighted some of the challenges facing females in sports including discrimination, parental influence and abuse.

Annam however advised NAWIS to bridge the gap between both sexes, especially in sports.

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