Stakeholders propose Rhythm ‘N’ Play sports clubs in schools nationwide

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Rhythm ‘N’ Play, a grassroots sports initiative to encourage young stars in their participation in sports programmes through music, will soon be part of extra curriculum activities in schools nationwide.

This, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered on Wedneday in Abuja, will be through the establishment and management of the Rhythm ‘N’ Play Sports Clubs in schools.

The proposal was arrived at during a stakeholders meeting, involving all relevant bodies, including the Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports.

Other stakeholders present were Nigeria Schools Sports Federation (NSSF), Parents Teachers Association (PTA), Association of Nigeria Principals (ANCOPPS) and the Nigeria Association of Physical Health and Recreation, Sport and Dance (NAPHER.SD).

The meeting was convened to plan and set guidelines for the establishment and management of Rhythm ‘N’ Play Sports Clubs in schools across the nation.

NAN reports that the Rhythm ‘N’ Play initiative was introduced by former Minister of Sports and Chairman of National Sports Commission (NSC), Bolaji Abdullahi.

It was executed through the National Academical Sports Committee (NASCOM), after the Presidential Retreat on Sports held in November 2012.

The committee had the mandate then to ensure that sports go back to the grassroots and schools.

Addressing the stakeholders, Director, Education Support Services in the Federal Ministry of Education, J.N Ibe, said once established the initiative would be a catalyst.

She said it would provide young Nigerians under the age of 17 with structured programmes which would use sports and play as critical tools for learning.

Ibe noted that it was believed that more talented kids among the school learners would be identified through the initiative.

“It will provide a platform of opportunities for schools and school age children to participate in sporting activities for social, mental and physiological development while enhancing academic excellence.

“The idea is to use music and dance to attract students into sports participation and arouse their interest in choosing physical education as a career.

“Rhythm ‘N’ Play Sports Clubs in schools will give the learners the opportunity to participate in one or more sports.”

She said the sporting activities for the clubs shall include football, athletics, martial arts, racket sports, ball games and calisthenics.

A Deputy Director in the ministry, Victoria Rowland, said the planning would start with the Ministry of Education because talents to be discovered for future use were in the schools.

She then called on the ministries of Education and Youths and Sports to work hand in hand for the success of the programme.

Rowland argued that this was necessary because the sports talents were the responsibility of the Ministry of Youths and Sports to nurture once they were discovered.

“We have discovered that after the inter-house sports, nobody goes back to sports again in schools, and this is the reason why we are planning to establish Rhythm ‘N’ Play as a sports club in schools,” she said.(NAN)

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