BY AHMED TUKUR, LAFIA – One of Nigeria’s leading broadcast stations, the African Independent Television (AIT) is to partner Nasarawa state government in promoting local boxing (Dambe) as an internationally recognised sporting activity.
The station, owned by DAAR Communications Plc, said being one of the prominent traditional sports in northern Nigeria, local boxing should be repackaged and promoted to globally acceptable standard for the purpose of creating job opportunities for participants and youths in the country.
AIT’s Head of Sports, Mr Omofoma Ebare, disclosed this at the weekend during an interactive session with the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Othman Bala Adams.
He said the station is ready to work out modalities aimed at fostering robust partnership with the State government to ensure local boxing becomes attractive to the sporting world as a global event in future competitions.
Responding, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Othman Bala Adams assured AIT of cooperation, pledging the state government’s readiness to provide the enabling platform to ensure the proposed partnership succeeds.
Adams hinted that Dambe is one of the events on the list of sports that already has a coach on the state government’s payroll.
“In doing that, we will make the youths realize their potentials and see the local boxing as any other sporting event recognized by the authorities across the globe”, he assured.
The Commissioner noted that promoting Dambe will further give the state leverage to discover more talents, hitherto idle but require necessary support to add value to the state development strides..
He said the administration of Governor Abdullahi Sule will key into the digital development of local boxing and ensure it becomes an Olympic event in the nearest future.
According to him, the ministry will visit places across the state and the country where the local boxing is taking place to see what the organizers need and thereafter commence sensitization campaign across the state.
“We will also liaise with the Federal Ministry of Sports to collaborate and see how we will revive and make dambe more fashionable and acceptable with AIT as our anchor”, Adams said