The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo has described sport tourism as an economic activity that makes significant impact on host cities, pointing out that sport tourism is considered a modern niche of economic development.
Speaking during a meeting ahead of the finals of the maiden edition of “Gbakagbaka Youth Soccer Cup Competition”‘, for secondary schools in Rivers and Bayelsa state, in honour of late former Deputy Governor of old Rivers State, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Frank Eke, coming up in Port Harcourt on Saturday, September 16, 2022, at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Yenagoa, Mr. Kiyaramo noted that sport tourism creates good brand and identity for host cities.
He observed that sport tourism does not stop at just organizing sport events and creating identity for sport tourism destinations, but that it involves real business development for tourism, saying that small sports events which are organized in all seasons can create access for connecting social groups, thereby building peace across all social strata of society.
According to Mr. Kiyaramo, sport tourism, regarded as a vehicle urban economic development strategy, remains one of the market segments with the fastest growth rate in the tourism industry which enjoys greater attention from stakeholders, economically and socially.
The governor’s aide commended the paramount ruler of Evo Kingdom in Rivers State, HRM King Sir, Evang. Amb. Leslie Nyebuchi Eke (JP), Eze Gbakagbaka, donor/chief host of the Gbakagbaka cup 2022, for keeping his father’s legacy in sports development, reiterating that sporting events usually bring tangible and intangible benefits to host cities in terms of infrastructural development, trade and cultural experiences.
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, Comrade Samuel Numonengi, who hosted the meeting, enumerated benefits of youth sports to include, increased physical activities among young ones, good health, social and community bonds and improvement of academic potentials, as well as enhancing their ability to overcome challenges in life, addition to building a foundation for a lifelong healthy lifestyle.
Comrade Numonengi assured the League of Character Clubs Nigeria, the organiser of the soccer competition of the support of the Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in the promotion of youth sports development in the state.
Earlier, the President-General of the League of Character Clubs Nigeria/ Chairman, Organising Committee of the event, Character, High Chief Christian Kokoriko (Tourist), had briefed the gathering about the “Gbakagbaka Youth Soccer Cup Competition”, informing that the third place match will be played between Community Secondary School Okoloba, from Bayelsa state and Zion International High School in Rivers state.
High Chief Kokoriko, said Sampou Grammer School of Bayelsa state will take on Randolph Comprehensive College of Rivers state in the finals at St. Andrews Primary School Field Mile 1, Diobu, Port Harcourt on September 16, 2022 by 4pm.
He disclosed that the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo will be conferred with “The Sixth Grand Patronship Certificate of the League of Character Clubs International and “Golden Award” of the maiden edition of the Gbakagbaka Soccer Cup Competition among secondary schools in Rivers and Bayelsa State.
High Chief Kokoriko hinted that the paramount ruler of Evo Kingdom, (Character), HRM King, Sir, Evang. Amb. Leslie Nyebuchi Eke, DCF, Eze Gbakagbaka, will be honored with “Best Grassroots Sports Promoter Award”. The General Manager of Radio Rivers 99.1FM, will receive “Best Active Patron Award 2022”, while Character, Chief Udemba Christian Okechukwu will bag “Grassroots Promoter Award”.
Other dignitaries that attended the meeting include, Mr. Fakidouma Augustine D, Principal of Sampou Grammar School, representing Sampou Grammar School football team, Diriyal Dickson Dimie, Principal of Community Secondary School Okoloba, representing CSS Okoloba football team, National Director of Protocols/Women Leader, League of Character Clubs Nigeria and Ms Colony Kokoriko, President, Character Moulding Foundation.