Every July 2nd is celebrated as the World Sports Journalist Day which is meant to recognise the outstanding efforts of the pen pushers who bring the game of sports closer to its viewers, listeners or readers as it may be.
On this year’s celebration of the special day, Bunmi Haruna, the chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) FCT chapter, says sports journalists in Nigeria are neglected and treated unfairly despite their enormous contributions to the development of the sector.
He, however, pleads with the federal government for intervention.
“As we celebrate this day, we do so with our heads held up high, knowing that we have played our roles to a large extent in the development of sports in Nigeria, but with little or no recognition,” Haruna said.
“Sports journalists in Nigeria especially in the FCT deserve more, we work so hard round the clock, most times no holidays, most people without take homes, yet we do our jobs because we are passionate about it.
“We deserve more, after the players, athletes and coaches, the sports journalists should be next.
“Taking a look at the sports federations in Nigeria will tell you how those in the profession are treated.
“While every other stakeholder is considered good enough to contribute as board members, journalists are only good enough to report them.
“We deserve more and this year is another opportunity for us to reflect on how far we have come. We celebrate every sports journalist out there, you are someone’s hero.
“We plead with Sunday Dare, minister of Sports, to as a matter of urgency prevail on the sports federations to consider including sports journalists as board members.”
The International Sports Press Association (AIPS) established the World Sports Journalist Day in 1994.
The day is intended to encourage and recognise various sports journalists for their outstanding efforts on the beat.
It motivates the journalists to set good examples for future generations and inspires them to pursue a career in sports journalism.