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Inspirational

Sports is big business, very big business.

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

I grew up loving football, in front of my house was an expanse of land where people and cars passed, it was here we dug it out; I played more in the final third growing up and it was fun scoring the goals.

I loved everything football; from rain ball, to “agidi – iyawo”, to fool, to 5-aside, to complete squad, it was a hit back to back.

The land is currently covered by interlocking stones, so no child plays there anymore.

I was also fortunate to go to a secondary school that had a culture of work and play, we had dedicated days for labour and sports and we had 2 standard football pitches, an improvised 5-aside pitch , a lot of space for “choosing” or “set”, monkey post and all.

We also had a volley ball pitch, lawn tennis pitch, several improvised table tennis boards, a basketball court and gymnastics for those that loved showing themselves.

In secondary school I gradually went towards the goal keeper and finally settled for the left back position. I had a classmate nicknamed “Charno”, he could do anything with the ball, in fact the football fell in love with his nimble feet.

He was that good and so were all his brothers that you could argue using his family as a case study that being a good footballer was genetic. In one of our matches he and his brother completed a double over head kick.

We never had scouts come to watch us; trust me if my secondary school was used for a pilot study, many athletes would have been harvested there.

Never mind the main focus of the institution was to be a preparatory ground for lads that would go on to become priests. Just like all schools in Nigeria groom people to be this or that.

In the University the story was the same, study your books and graduate. I played football a lot too, but that was by the way. I remember winning the Port Harcourt University Medical Students Association football cup with my classmates, all of them are doctors now and I doubt any of them can run around the pitch for 30 minutes without been resuscitated with oxygen, I tried it few months ago and I knew the impact on my body.

Ironically Charno my secondary school mate who was a delight to watch is also not a professional footballer.

And so that is how we lose athletes, little wonder we have people rushing to areas that are seemingly lucrative and people are hardly motivated to go into sports.

We have more expensive schools, with no football pitch or places children can play and express themselves. Our football clubs barely go to schools to scout for players, in fact many local football clubs don’t have scouts and their age grade teams if at all they have are filled with people hustling and many of these age grade teams have people who forced their way in.

Many youths fighting, bombing, shooting arrows, using machetes on fellow citizens, shooting guns with precision, unleashing terror in the creeks and rivers are many times simply misguided and actually expressing themselves in the negative way.

Sports should not be treated lightly as it has always been, truth is that doing well in sporting events is more than just paying athletes their bonuses and all. There must be an active and deliberate plan to maintain the pool of athletes and this must start from the grassroots.

How about changing our school curriculum, offering scholarships to sports boys and girls, insisting football clubs have at least an U 8 team where children good in sports can be groomed while doing their studies, how about insisting all school have playing facilities and those that have none should link up with government schools which have these facilities at a fee.

How about developing a blue print for sports that will run for up to 20 years, how about also taking a look at athletics and especially water sports, not as though we are in a desert and there are plenty medals to win in water events.

What about gymnastics why allow all those cartwheel and acrobatics to waste, why allow all those moves in ‘atilogwu’ to go down the drain? Everyone gifted should have a place.

Sports cannot be developed by emotions, or the regular fire brigade approach or politicizing of sports or the continual system of the sports ministry being a ministry for compensating politicians. There has to be a deliberate attempt to save sports in this nation from the LGA level to the federal level.

And that reminds me, my son who is 3 years old is already fascinated with football and he has one. Unlike his father though he shoots with his right foot and his playing field is inside the house.

If he is still trained in Nigeria and we still continue at this pace… Years from now he may be typing this same article.

So next time you see your country and indeed many other African countries having zero medals in the Olympics or not win the world cup or even get a 3rd place in the world cup, just know that you cannot drink garri and vomit fried rice and mashed chicken.. Iya how now…you self you go like am?

In other news

Everybody dey talk say my pikin go be Dokita, engineer and lawyer and na why we dey where we dey?

Paul Pogba a young French player is paid £290,000 weekly and our own Wari Senibo John Mikel Obi is paid about £140,000 weekly, I doubt any profession can give anyone this in this country.

Mikel is among the few favoured Nigerians that hit gold… And this is actually what we lose when we have inept sports administrators… Sports is big business, very big business.

Imagine the prospects including prospects for other professionals who may not necessarily kick the ball, imagine several doctors as professionals in sports medicine… Imagine players and their agents…

Well, as I always say, again what do I know?

Our football league is a story for another day…

Make I go read my book jare.

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Inspirational

Running your race

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

And let us run, with patience the race that is set before us…

********

In a world with so much pressure…

Pressure to be…

Pressure to become…

Pressure to being…

Pressure to arrive…

Pressure to remain…

Pressure to live the life, being portrayed to be the life…

Pressure to show your toys…

Pressure to be among…

Pressure to show you are among the crème de la crème or to hang around those who are…

It is important to “Selah”…

*******

It is important to ask yourself questions…

Why am I doing, what I am doing?

Why am I living my life based on the likes, shares, tweets and retweets?

Why am I basing my happiness on things?

Why am I living my life like a competition?

Why do I feel sad, when my friends have coins, but I have an empty pocket?

Why do I feel happier, when I am relatively doing better than people around me?

Why do I live in debt, just to prove an unnecessary point?

Why does my heart skip a beat, when I see people, I feel I am better than, having that perfect life on social media, when I can’t even figure out where I am?

Why do I sense a feeling of defeat, when I see them snap those gorgeous pictures in their car, while I just got splashed with water, as I tried to navigate my way hopping from taxi to taxi?

Why does chill run down my spine, when I see those beautiful pictures of my friends literally having a white Christmas… When I am white from the harmattan torture, and I am tortured just thinking about my expenses?

Why do I feel sad, when I have lived all my life an unmarried virgin, and the lady that did all kinds of runs and several abortions, is a married woman with several children?

😢 😢 😭

******

... And let us run with patience, the race that is set before us…

There is a race set before us…are you still running, or you have allowed life to beat you to submission, as you lay on the track and refuse to get up.

The race was set by our maker, God…

Don’t allow life, friends, family or circumstances to set your race for you… Trust me it will be terrible…

Don’t also set races for yourself…

Unlike what many think, life is not a competition, where you compete on who finishes first… And where you pride yourself with the often used phrase “I got it before my friends… I am the man or the woman”…

Ensure the race you are in, is that which was set by the Lord…

Also, life is not a sprint… Or “sharp sharp” …it is not a dash.

The race is a race of patience…

A little here, a little there…

Keep running…

Stay on track…

Stay on your lane…

Make sure you are running in the race set for you and not on another’s race or track…

Don’t live your life… Doing needless competitions…

The Joy of the Lord is your strength…

Be all God created you to be…

And gauge your progress, not by others, but by the race set before you…by what God would want you to do.

*******

Jesus loves you… Give your life to Him today…

#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries

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Inspirational

Fatal Imitation

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

Trends, trendy, trending…

Just go on Twitter or even Facebook, an “influenza” types #BumBum and boom it trends and almost everyone, even those who would not normally shout or tweet about this will just follow…

An “influenza” says “oya” everyone sample this or that and those who would naturally frown at this join in the craze…Many people are moved primarily by what others do…

Many people live to trend, trends.

Little wonder when someone “blows” or “hammers” doing something, it is not strange seeing a lot of people doing likewise.

******

Be careful about the kind of groups you join on WhatsApp, Facebook or other social media networking sites…

Be careful about the kind of people you follow online.

Be careful about the kind of sects or philosophies you imbibe online.

Be careful about following people who always shout doom, gloom and disaster and emphasize about the hopelessness of life.

Be careful about drinking from well of those who always shout that life has no meaning and living serves no purpose.

Be careful about following people who pride and relish posting about disaster, violence and vices.

This may look like just talk.

*****

But not too long ago, there was the fire challenge. Everyone who is sane knows fire burns, everyone who is sane knows fire can wreck havoc and yes it can even cause fatal injuries, but no…

The intent of this challenge I will never understand, but some people followed the trend regardless of the consequences and that was it…

Also there have been outrage over a number of other games and challenges, which took lives, after encouraging people to take their lives..

The power of Imitation…

Mind who you follow and listen to…

Your life is so precious…

So so precious…

That Jesus had to become flesh…

That Jesus had to pay the full price…

Just for you…

Jesus Loves you, you are not alone.

#selah #hearword #OvdSpeaks

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Inspirational

You are not alone…

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

Days ago I got a knock on the door of my house, I looked through the peephole, opened the and saw a neighbor panting for air…

“Oga na wetyn na” I inquired… This one you want to break my door?

“Ovd, there is an emergency oh” the breathless neighbor said…

“Which emergency” I asked in response…

Someone had slumped near my neighborhood and he had come to my house so I would help go resuscitate him… Those with unlimited access to ambulances 🚑 may never understand this.

Chai…

I thought they had forgotten I was a doctor…

I went there, to see what was going on… A a crowd had gathered around the man, with everyone suggesting all manner of things…

From the absurd to the ridiculous…

The man who needed my attention was now seating down on the floor, and on careful examination he had an empty Ventolin inhaler by his side…

And a little conversation showed the man had not eaten the day before…

A bucket of water had already been recruited by one of the rescuers and someone in the crowd was about to empty the whole content of the bucket on the bewildered man…

“Shebi” we were told when you pour water on someone who fainted the person would immediately be revived.

I told the overzealous bucket holder to calm down…This was not a comedy skit…

Long story short…

Water was not poured on the innocent man…

Pouring water on someone that fainted out of “hunger”will not address the hunger issue or even the fainting.

******

Taking your life will not address the problem.

Taking your life will not erase the problem.

Taking your life will cause more problems than answers.

Taking your life cannot be rationalized by any reason at all.

It is not even your life in the first place.

Why snuff out what you cannot create?

******

Truly speaking…

Time changes perspective…

Time changes narratives…

Every situation is subject to change…

Never make a permanent decision out of a temporary problem!

*******

Speak out if you have any issue or issues…

Open up…

You will discover first hand, that there is nothing happening to you now, that cannot be surmounted, or has not been passed though by someone else.

Seek help…

Talk to someone…

Seek help from professionals..

You are not alone…

When there is life, there is hope…

When there is Jesus, there is hope for today and tomorrow…

Because Jesus lives, you can face tomorrow…

Because He lives all fear is gone…

He holds your future and life is worth living, because Jesus lives…

You are not alone…

Commit everything in His hands…

It won’t end the way you think…

Keep hope alive…

Don’t do it… Live again…

#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries

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