Dr. OlabanjiThe imperative of engaging in regular body exercise has been stressed. This piece of information was given by the Acting Director, Directorate of Sports of the University, Dr. Sam Olabanji. According to him, “When you exercise, you are re-strengthening and refreshing the engine inside you. And at the same time, your metabolism rate is very fast and free from any pain”.

The Sports Coach said that people were going through haemodialysis nowadays because their kidney had stopped working, adding that one would sleep soundly and healthily as a result of routine exercise though, “some homes are known by who is inside during sleep. Snoring is not a healthy sleep. When someone snores in the night, it’s a sign of (being) unfit”.

He noted that the Directorate of Sports is also known as Life Plus, stating that “When you come here, we add value to your life. We tell you, you can prevent yourself from going to the hospital by coming regularly to recreate. When you recreate, what you shed out is good enough to keep you away from visiting doctors. We are not saying they shouldn’t do their work. When you refuse to do what you are supposed to do, you would buy what you are not supposed to buy. Let us bail you out of your obesity, sleeplessness in the night (insomnia), deep breathe every time”.

Dr. Olabanji, who bagged his PhD at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, stated further that the advantage of staff engaging in sports was enormous, noting that the fact that the students were not on ground did not mean that the staff were not recreating. According to him, University staff train regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He, therefore, noted that the training had never stopped for a moment.

The Acting Director, who joined the services of FUNAAB about 16 years ago, as a Sports Coach II, stressed that University staff stand to gain a lot from participating in sports as everyone wants to be fit.

Highlighting the upcoming events in the Directorate, he said that there are intramural and extramural programmes. According to him, “Intramural programmes are events which we organise within the four walls of the University to cater for students and members of staff while extramural activities include the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) and West African University Games (WAUG), among others”. He stated further that all universities, whether federal, state or private, are eligible to participate in NUGA. According to him, “last year, we were supposed to have the Pre-NUGA at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), but it was aborted. I just received a memo summoning me to the University of Makurdi, Benue State for an emergency meeting to resuscitate the Pre-NUGA. NUGA, would be coming on very shortly, hopefully, before the end of the first quarter of 2017”.

On the temporary stoppage of Staff Unity Games, he said it was in two dimensions, first of which was the unrest that took place, last year. “We just concluded the Inter-Collegiate and the Staff Unity Games was to follow. All through the period, the games were put on hold as some members of staff that were supposed to participate in the games, were not around”, Dr. Olabanji stated.

He disclosed that on the commercial viability of the games, in terms of sponsorship, the Directorate was segmented into four departments namely; the Intramural, Extramural, Marketing and Sponsorship, as well as Life Plus and Wellness. He noted that certain category of staff had been detailed to look out for sponsorship, saying that sponsorship to major companies was a way to reducing the annual task.

On the participation at major competitions, he said that new equipment were required, which were either consumable or non-consumable equipment. Explaining consumable equipment, he said that they are equipment that when used, should be thrown away immediately; such as table tennis balls as well as the badminton feathers. “You don’t expect me to buy a swimming trunk now and wash it and give it to another athlete to use. The companies would like to promote their products by branding players’ jersey. So, it’s a give-and-take affair. A symbiotic relationship”, he stated.

Dr. Olabanji, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Management, spoke on the completion of the grandstand, swimming pool and staff tournament, on staff playing against staff of other higher institutions, Coach Olabanji said when there is an action, there is a reaction. According to him, “When athletes train, we must find the means to test their level of fitness and their potency as well as test the skills they have acquired against a stronger opponent in a comfortable environment. The bilateral agreement between us (FUNAAB) and the Federal College of Education (FCE), Osiele (Abeokuta) was borne out of the relationship that had existed between the coaches of the institution and us, who are here. We are virtually products of the same universities. That brought the relationship and I would personally enhance it”. He, however, promised to encourage sporting activities between FUNAAB and neighbouring institutions, adding that he was in support of whatever that would project the image of the University, positively.