Funding has been a major setback to the development of the para-soccer in Nigeria.
The Chairman of Rivers Para-Soccer Association, Manasseh Brown, said on Tuesday that lack of funds had continued to stifle the development of para-soccer development in the country.
Ms. Brown, who won the recent Para-Soccer South-South Zonal National Sports Federations election, made the remark in an interview in Benin, the Edo State capital.
She complained that funding had been a major setback to the development of the sport, and added that government, corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals should assist in its sponsorship and promotion.
The chairman explained that it was only through a sustained sponsorship of its programmes that the sport could thrive, for the benefit of the players.
“It is a sport that is very popular, exciting and similar to football and anytime we have competitions, we always have a good turnout of spectators.
“We are trying to see how we can develop the sport, but funding is a big challenge.
“Government, philanthropists and companies should lend their support because most of the players who rely on this sport for their livelihoods are physically-challenged,’’ she said.
“We want the government to promote the sport and make it a household name, because the players are very special people and they need special attention,” she added.
Ms. Brown also spoke of the achievements of players who had given their best to the sport and urged potential sponsors to take the players into consideration.
“From competitions, we have had players who were able to buy themselves cars and start small businesses.
“So we need more competitions to bring these boys to limelight and better their lives forever.
“We are trying to go beyond the shores of Nigeria. We need assistance and promotion to scale through to the West Africa Games and then go beyond the shores of Africa,” she said.
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