Sports promoter and advocate for youths empowerment, Ige Albert, popularly known as Up Jesus, has declared that violence, rituals, kidnapping and other social vices ravaging the country in recent times can be solved if well-meaning Nigerians and organisations sponsor sports championships in every local council and state to empower youths financially and instil moral values in them.
Speaking at the fifth Supreme Boxing Club Academy Championship, which he sponsored as part of his birthday and Independence Day celebrations at Agarawu Square, Idumota, Lagos Island, Ige said the yearly event has transformed the lives of many young boys and girls, who would have ended up constituting nuisance to the society.
“I have been sponsoring the boxing championship for five years now to discover young talents, reward them for their skills and also engage them in meaningful activities.
“Sports can reduce social problems in Nigeria. I discovered in my area that many youths are vulnerable and aggressive and the only way to get them out of the streets and their violent personality is to organise a boxing championship for them to channel their strength and talent into a meaningful career.
“So far, it has been successful. I urge other people in the country to figure out the sports youths like in their areas and sponsor them to fish out talents and keep the youths busy and productive to the society,” he said.
Also speaking on the event, Supreme Boxing Academy coach, Ajibade Oluwasegun, said the championship, over the years, has produced talents that have represented Nigeria at international championships, as well as the National Sports Festival and other events.
“The Supreme Boxing Championship has lived up to expectations with over 100 boxers from different clubs, including the Nigerian Army and Air Force, competing for honours.
“We thank the organiser of the event, Albert, for putting smiles on the faces of the boxers. More boxers at the grassroots have indicated interest to be part of the boxing event,” he said.
At the end of the event, Isiaka Rabimi, emerged as the overall champion, which gave him a share of the medals, prizes and monetary rewards meant for outstanding men and women at the event.