..Wants Proper Funding & Early Preparation for Athletes
‘The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Imo Chapter has expressed its dismay over the relegation of Heartland FC from the topflight to the lower league calling for a total overhaul of the team’s management.
SWAN, who took this position through a communiqué issued after its congress recently, noted with regrets why the Imo state darling club had been made to go down again owing to internal wrangling barely a few seasons after the club suffered the same fate.
The association among other observations and suggestion called for appointment of a substantive club chairman and adequate funding of the club;
“Imo SWAN has asked for total overhaul and change of Heartland FC management with a substantive Chairman or a General Manager that has capacity, charisma and the wherewithal to answer directly to the Governor to ensure accountability as well as to act with quick intervention when funds are delayed from the government.
“Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Imo Chapter suggests that Heartland FC and Heartland Queens be funded on a monthly budget that lasts at least for a whole season and not just on match by match basis that has stifled progress of both clubs for the past few seasons.
“The bonafide Sports Writers in Imo state implores the state government through its representatives to make adequate arrangement for Heartland FC camping during preseason activities as well as getting a befitting place as camp in Owerri which will end the embarrassment often suffered by the team for putting up in a Hotel due to unpaid accumulated debts.
“Imo SWAN appeals to Imo Government through its representatives to offer proper contracts and welfare packages to players/management of Heartland FC and Heartland Queens to stem the tode of incessant exodus of quality players at the end of every season.
“The Imo Sports Writers seek for the improvement and proper maintenance of the playing surface of Dan Anyiam stadium, Owerri throughout the season knowing that this will aid Heartland FC early comeback to the topflight while Heartland Queens will benefit from playing on good pitch in their return to the Nigeria Women’s Football League Premiership.
“Imo SWAN asks for the appointment of technocrat to head the Imo Ministry of Sports to instill professionalism and also produce ultimate result as it is obtainable in Delta and Edo states and other states doing well in sports that run Sports Commissions instead of Ministry.
“Imo Sports Writers also canvass for early preparation for the National Sports Festival and National Youth Games knowing that Imo state has not performed to her optimum because of inadequate preparations.
“Imo SWAN enjoins the Imo Government to host and reward without further delay athletes who represented and did the state proudddd at the National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara state; National Sports Festival in Benin City, Edo State; Para athletes as well as players of Heartland Queens that recently gained promotion back to NWFL Premiership to motivate others for more future laurels.
“Sports Writers in Imo state frowned at the continued delay in the construction of the Olympic Sized Swimming Pool and other facilities such as laying of the tartan track inside Dan Anyiam Stadium among other sporting facilities knowing that good facilities will aid athletes improved performances at competitions.
“Imo SWAN also urges Imo government and its agencies to partner with individuals and private organizations in sponsoring and facilitating sporting programmes which has the capacity to engage youths meaningfully with view of reducing social ills and vices.
“Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Imo Chapter hailed the appointment of Ferdinand Emeana as the Director of Sports, Imo Sports Commission stating that his good works in Handball and other sports in Imo and at the national levels made him adequately qualified to take sports to its zenith in Imo state if he gets the adequate support from the Imo Government.