The role of sports education in any nation’s economic development cannot be underestimated. Countries are afforded the opportunity to train young talented athletes academically and equally build them for their future endeavors in the world of sports.
Sadly, apart from Physical and Health Education departments in Nigerian universities and the Nigerian Institute for Sports, the sub-Saharan nation lacks the infrastructure to educate sportsmen and managers. In a bid to solve the numerous problems confronting sports education in Nigeria, Prince Ned Nwoko mapped out a plan for establishing STARS University, the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa operating with global standards.
The acronym STARS stands for Sports, Technology and Arts, outlining the major aim of the institution to train students practically in their choosen athletic fields and academically in the classrooms. When it is completed, Nigeria stands to have talented and educated individuals in the world of sports unlike today where many of them are uneducated due to lack of financial support.
The uniqueness of the university lies in the fact that it is anchored on a multi-discipline concept, top of which is offering professional first degree certificates courses in fields related to sports, a privilege hitherto enjoyed only in developed countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Bulgaria and other developed countries of the world.
Despite keen interest on sports, the university will also offer Arts and Technology courses like conventional universities. Areas of study include:
- Bachelor of Science in Sports Science and Technology,
- Sports Communication,
- Events Management,
- Sports Economics,
- Sports Sociology,
- Sports Tourism,
- Sports Physiology,
- Sports Marketing and Advertising,
- Sports Security and Stadia Management,
- Coaching Technology, and a host of other courses once the project is completed.
Upon completion, the multi-million dollar plan will have an academic building of three floors, a state of the art library, and medical centre with facilities equal to those used in university teaching hospitals in Nigeria.
The institution will also have a minimum of four standard pitches for Soccer, Rugby, Hockey, Baseball/Cricket and other field events, not leaving out an Olympic size swimming pool, ultra-modern Indoor sports hall, race tracks for long distance athletics, cycling, motorsport and an 18-hole golf course… The university will also have a five-star hotel, which will be powered by Solar and windmill power generation options. It will function as a fluid combination for sports and academics, to broaden the options of men and women who opted for Sports as a career… It is expected to positively stimulate young sporting talents into self-actualization through providing a feasible and secure career pathNed Nwoko
Prince Ned Nwoko’s resolve to carry out such developments stem from the challenges he faced as a student-athlete, having to give up sports so he could get a degree in law. To prove his commitment towards the success of the plan, the founder announced Okpochini Anita as the first beneficiary of the university’s scholarship award, due to her exceptional display in the pool during the official launch of the project. Ned has set an example for financially capable Nigerians to invest in the growth and development of the country with less reliance on government.
Sports means life to me, when I was a young child, I had the option of going into sports. However, I chose to read law. Today, you will no longer have to choose between such hard choices because you now have the opportunity of studying in the university and still do sports. This is another reason I decided to build a sports university called STARS University, one of its kind in the whole West Africa. It makes me feel proud as a Deltan and Nigerian wherever I am in the world. I have decided that we must catch them young and provide them with the best opportunity to excel in life.Ned Nwoko
Featured Image source: Vanguard News