PLAYit DREAMit Tuesday- Talent Development: How to Combine Sports and Academics
For this week’s edition of #PlayitDreamitTuesday, we had David Doherty; CEO Team Nigeria UK and International discuss how we can combine sports and academics.
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
Moving to our first question for today, What are the benefits of education to a sports man/woman?
With education an athletes has a significant advantage ahead of his or her peers without education. This allows them to express themselves very well , read lines when signing a contract, Life after sports allows such athletes to now make use of her qualifications going forward .Absolutely its gives an added advantage to life outside the sports itself.
Plus education allows an athletes to also follow other career pathways within and outside the chosen sports they do i.e Coaching, Leadership, Administrator, Refereeing, Psychology, Scout or Representation, Work within Hospitality and So on.
The importance of education to a sports man/women cannot be overemphasized. So, what then are the challenges faced when combining sports and education?
I think this can be looked at in two ways, for an athlete in Nigerian or Africa he or she can struggle with lack of support i.e Funding, Bursary, Sponsorship, Transportation, and other resource to help make learning and Training as athletes easier compared to UK and US or Europe
However this is one of the reason we designed a programme @SportEdu2 to help tackle this challenges faced by such athletes, Hence why SportEduplus is delivered using school platforms and tailored to meet the need early.
Funding and support, etc are indeed few of the many challenges athletes face when trying to pursue their career while combining it with education.
Sure, the challenges are enormous , Enabling environment for both training and learning is key. Clubs in Nigeria or Africa lack such platform to encourage athletes to take up education whilst playing sports.
For those who lack access to such educational opportunities, what is the way forward?
I think the best way is adopt the sponsor a child approach, i.e Individuals, Cooperate bodies and Partnership with schools and other relevant stakeholders/CSR, can help them access sports and education, with this we can then provide such training and Skills at foundational level for them.
Partnership and involving relevant stakeholders is indeed a great solution towards tackling this..
Moving forward to our next question.
How can local based talents meet up to national standards and have access to international opportunities?
First to equip them with basic needs that will help them kick start their pathway in chosen sports i.e Kits, playing grounds, nutrition, media and good training programme to support their development, However athletes need to understand that they are a products and in that sense should ensure they package and make themselves presentable to clubs, agents and all involved through good PR and Branding.
As much as putting in the hard work on the pitch, so is the same approach off the pitch.Thanks to social media platforms. Plus athletes should always ensure they have a mentor, very important.
Putting in the handwork and putting yourself out for the societyas an athlete are keys to a successful career.
In Nigeria, we have very few institutions combining sports and education.
What do you think can be done to better this scenario?
I think we are trying to get our institutions back home to create such curriculum, this may not be easy and immediately achievable. However SportEduplus and@SportEdu2 has all of this approach in place and It currently running in schools in Lagos and Abuja designed for Secondary and Universities.
What I meant is having to outsourced that part to private bodies in partnership with the educational establishments to deliver the services and as well as providing employment within sports for those athletes whilst also encouraging volunteering and apprenticeship approach.
Finally, It seems there is too much nepotism and favoritism in talent scouting for major sport teams. What can be done to combat this?
This menace called Nepotism n Favoritism can only be curbed, if only we all can change our mindset by putting the country sports first based on merit when selection athletes and not nepotism and favoritism or Godfatherism.
Secondly having a system in place help monitor the process. If we have a plan and an organized system in place to monitor selection process without compromise, I think we will start to see solid improvement and development based on merit in our sports going forward.