The 48th edition of National Conference of Nigeria Association for Physical, Health Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance (NAPHER-SD) has been held at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai with a call on governments at all levels and relevant stakeholders in the country to rise up against inappropriate drug use by the youths, particularly athletes.
Speaking while declaring the Conference open, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Sports Development who was also the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Mohammed Gana decried the rate at which youth especially athletes engage in the habit of drug abuse to perform any competitive event without taking into consideration its health consequences.
He pointed out that, although inappropriate drug use and doping were common among the athletes, the trend has become more prevalent among the youths, which are the most productive group of a nation; stressing that unless urgent strategic measure is taken, the country’s was heading towards doom.
Dr. Gana disclosed that the State Government was aware of the dangers of this unfortunate trend among the youths and athletes and was already evolving measures that would nip the menace in the bud at all strata.
The Permanent Secretary commended the NAPHER-SD for bringing to the fore a topic of national importance and pledged the State Government’s support to the activities of the association.
Also in his address at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Muhammad Nasir Maiturare underscored the need for intellectuals and professional associations to periodically brain storm on issues that would foster desired growth and development of the country.
He said, the issue of drug use and doping was increasing among the athletes, which was having multiplier effects on the productive age group of the country.
Professor Maiturare also emphasised on the need for a measure to bring to the bearest level the ugly scourge, if the future of the country would not be destroyed.
The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that IBB University was conscious of critical role of Sports and Exercises, hence the dedication of every Wednesday of the Week for Sporting activities, to enable every member of the University participate in one or two sports activities.
He applauded the executive of NAPHER-SD for having confidence in the Management of the University to host the 48th edition of the conference; assuring to accord sport activities utmost priority in the University.
Earlier, the National President of NAPHER-SD, Professor Rafiu Okuneye expressed appreciation for the unwavering support and cooperation received from the Management of the University.
He said NAPHER-SD would continue to partner with the University on the development of its sporting activities.
The paper of the Keynote speaker, Professor James Omonu of Department of Kinetics and Health Education of the University dwelt on health implications of drug use and doping in sports: professional perspectives.
Professor Omonu also called on government to enforce laws against inappropriate use of drugs in the country.
Highlight of the conference was recognition of individuals who have contributed immensely to the growth of the association.