By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
A statement signed by its Secretary General, Jude Opara said that SWAN was founded on February 1, 1964 when a group of sports writers came together in Lagos to form the Association with the aim of bringing all sports writers in the country under one umbrella.
Speaking on the significance of the occasion at the weekend, President of SWAN, Honour Sirawoo said the Association has continued to undergo different stages of development “with its attendant ups and downs.”
Sirawoo who departs Nigeria today to join other Presidents ofSports Journalists Associations in Budapest-Hungary for the 83rd AIPS Congress expressed satisfaction that SWAN especially in the past four years has continued to make remarkable progress.
“Since we came on board about four years ago, we have been able to take the Association to the next level of positive development. We have managed to do certain things which people thought were simply impossible.
“Today we have given SWAN the much needed corporate identity which we achieved with the successful registration of the Association as an entity with a Board of Trustees.
“For the first time, SWAN now has a well furnished and functional office where we operate daily and engage our numerous publics.
“Our accounts are no longer in red. In fact it is gratifying to note that SWAN since this administration has maintained a credit balance with the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). We make bold to say that the world body now accords Nigeria her due respect because of the way we have been able to manage our affairs.
“Today we can easily determine who are members of the Association, because of the creation of a membership data bank; it is also needless to note that membership cards are promptly produced as soon as payments were made.”
However, the President said that the National Secretariat is also aware of the challenges faced by its members, because of the inability of some media organization to remunerate their staff as at when due, even as he promised that the Association will continue to interface with them to achieve a more conducive working environment for its members.
He also enjoined the members to always work for the peace, progress and development of the Association adding that when they stick together; they are bound to break even more grounds.
“We will continue to preach the message of unity because SWAN is our Association; together our spirit and strength can build more castles and avail us our rightful benefits.
“In the light of this, we want to appeal to our members to always display the sense of selfless service to the Association. We all must be ready to make sacrifices to ensure the continuous growth of SWAN.”
Sirawoo also reassured that SWAN will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders including the federal government to ensure that the country got her rightful place in the comity of sporting nations.