Sports in the University of Ibadan

The Contradictions In The University of Ibadan Sports Sector And The Questions That Abound


In a pandemic-wrecked season and the imposition of a virtual learning programme, sporting activities in the country’s premier university are expected to be suspended. Surprisingly, the reverse is the case; there lie contradictions that pose some inevitable questions.

 Firstly, let’s make some facts known, at least as seen theoretically: the University has imposed a virtual learning programme as a preventive measure to the wrecking pandemic. The point is to limit the extent of physical activities and engagement in the school environment. As a result, the hostels and every avenue that implies heavy human numbering have been shut. However, given the presence of students in the school environment lately, one would be forced to think the sanctions by the school to prevent the virus have rather been counterproductive. Students are physically found in their numbers, clustering around the school with little or no regard for the Covid-19 protocols.

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Many a time, it appears that the rules are merely an attempt to fit into a prevailing trend and not genuinely due to a tangible occurrence that suggests otherwise. A visit to the new stadium, Awo, offers nothing but wild amazement. One would logically think the Covid-19 measures extend to football, a sport that requires an intimate clash of bodies and a relatively high numbering. But, the case at Awo offers a negation; students who are supposedly members of the school team remain present for training on a schedule that runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is yet to be understood if there’s an explicit regulation that sanctions their presence, but what appears true is that any attempt to prevent Covid-19, as hypothetically stated, should result in the suspension of football, something that has been noticed with other sports. The SUB, an avenue that houses a lot of sporting activities is still closed. 

However, the availability of Awo Stadium for training sessions offers spellbound questions about the contrasting contradiction of the school authorities in the sporting space. Why should the school team members train and even play matches against external teams, in the face of a regulation assumed that negates it? And even if backed by school laws, why are sporting activities in the SUB space banned? Perhaps, most importantly, what has been noticed lately on the campus runs arbitrarily against the theoretical implementation of Covid-19 protocols. If the school claims to run a virtual programme in a bid to prevent the pandemic from ravaging, then it should be in absolute and total recourse ( in every sense of reducing human engagement and physical activities). Rather, what is understandable, personally, is a blind attempt to copy an existing trend that has only resulted in perpetual confusion and many inexplicable contradictions.

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