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Akwa Ibom Para-Soccer players decries neglect

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By Theresa Ukpong, Uyo

Para-soccer players in Akwa Ibom state have expressed sadness over what they taged as “neglect” to their plights by the state government, saying it has breed poverty among them.

Speaking with Newsmen in Uyo, the state capital on Tuesday, the Chairperson of Akwa Ibom State Para-Soccer Association (AKISPA), Mrs. Comfort Essien highlighted some of the challenges facing the Association to include mobility, lack of training pitch for the Para-soccer players, welfare and vehicle for easy movements of the Para-soccer players.

Mrs Essien said that the Association has been over a year now without a Secretary and Coach following the retirements of the immediate past Secretary and Coach.

“Things are not in order. If the Association has been formed by the Ministry, I think the Ministry needs to pay attention to it.

Paraplegics in Akwa Ibom State, Association’s Chairperson, Mrs Comfort Essien (centre) in picture with SWAN exco

“I was told that in four years, I should form a team that is made of Akwa Ibom players. How will I do that? Right now, I don’t have a coach,” she lamented.

The Association Chairperson alsi noted that Para-Soccer as medals winning game, is capable of engaging thousands of physically challenged persons in the state positivity.

She posited that giving necessary support to the Para-Soccer Sports, it would offer opportunity to a number of paraplegics to be trained to become relevant to themselves and others.

According to her, the State Para-Soccer team has over the years featured in National Sports Festivals and other competitions within and outside the country.

“Para-Soccer has remained a game of hope for the physically challenged persons and lucrative if well funded”, Mrs Essien added.

She called on Akwa Ibom State Government, Ministry of Youth and Sports and good spirited individuals to come to the aid of the Association.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Comrade Emmanuel Akpan has pledged the readiness of the Association to promote the activities of Para-Soccer in the State to stardom.

Recall the Akwa Ibom State Para-Soccer Association was inaugurated by the state government alongside other 29 Sports Associations last year, represented by Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Sir Monday Ebong Uko.

The idea according to government, was to rejuvenate and re-position all sports associations in the state for effective participations in both national and international sporting competitions and win laurels to the state in respective sports as well as discover budding stars and nurture then for future needs

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