Chairman Brila Group, Dr. Larry Izamoje, says sports radio has a major role to play in sports development initiatives in Nigeria.
Izamoje stated this at the maiden edition of the Sport Impact Africa held at The Zone in Gbagada, Lagos on Thursday.
The Sport Impact Africa, which is a two-day event, is an initiative of veteran sport journalist, Deji Omotoyinbo.
Speaking on the topic: The Power or Sports Radio In Sports Development Initiative, Izamoje said:“Sports radio keeps evolving, it has failed to die and radio itself has failed to die. Anything and everything they have tried to manufacture to try and swallow radio, radio swallows it and I will prove it here. With my phone I can play you Brila FM Port Harcourt that’s the power of radio.
“So broadcasting sports on radio was first done in 1921 in Pitsburg, USA. And when they did that people then said this thing can be enhanced. So if they can so it in USA why can’t we so it in Nigeria.
“The role of sports radio is a format within radio and radio is within the larger media group. And you find that it is the same work but dressed in a different garment so you know you are called to do the same thing that media has been called to do and the thing sport radio do is to inform, to educate, to entertain.
“So to have a sport initiative and to know what you are doing, no matter what you write if you refuse to give it to those whose jobs entails telling people about it, is like a man in a dark room without light winking at a lady and he knows what he is doing but she doesn’t know.”
Izamoje continued:“You must give it to us to inform the people. Administrators, those who design the initiative in sport must partner with us because partnership is very key. And so let’s inform the people, let’s tell the people what you are doing.
“We must educate, teach, know why should we go this way? So basic function of information dissemination of education of entertainment. Like at Brila we just no longer do radio we do sportaiinment that is saying sports the way it will be entertaining. So we are talking entertainment and also serious sport.
“These are the kind of things we tell our administrators to do because they can’t do it alone that is why many of us are very far from administration in sport. Not that we cannot do it we are waiting for them to come to us let’s partner. Some of the problems we are having in Nigeria sports today is because they want to sit tight, do the things themselves and it is not their job to inform, not their job to educate and not their job to entertain the people while making the initiative attractive. It is not their job to engage.
“With sports radio we engage the listener through interactivity, phones calls, phone in programmes. And in this days of the internets, these days of digital media and what we now call virtual radio, because radio has become the new TV, that’s why I said it is something they have tried to kill that have swallowed them up.
“And you would want to ask why is radio very dear to me it is because it is the most penetrative means to the people, it is cheap.”