Balls, Boards, and Bats: Did the New Dispensation Tenure End with New Standards in the Office of the Sports Secretary?

What seems to be a record-breaking tenure – as UIMSA had its affairs run under the administration of its first female president in 61 years – ended on Wednesday, 12th April 2023 when the executives were dissolved of their power. Not only was the association ruled by its first female president, but the administration also had 80% women. While the electoral ban has been lifted by the Senate, and electoral flyers/posters are flying around social media, the Press is evaluating the persons that held the offices before the dissolution of power.
This article is focusing majorly on the Sports Secretary for the last tenure, Benjamin Ajoku. To ensure accountability, there’s an objective comparison between the manifestos and accounts of stewardship to determine how well the office was run. Benjamin’s application letter, dated 11th May 2022, was written to the President expressing his wish to assume the post of UIMSA’s Sports Secretary. From the letter, Benjamin had served under UIMSA Sport Committee for two years, amongst other duties and by self-evaluation, considered himself worthy enough to assume the post.
According to Chapter 3, Article VIIb of the UIMSA Constitution, the office of the Sports Secretary shall;

  1. Coordinate all sporting activities, all games and games clubs of the Association.
  2. Be the Chairman of the Sports Committee.
  3. Perform all other duties allocated under the articles of the Constitution and by the Executive Council.

Benjamin, in a bid to raise the bar higher, offered to do the following in line with the UIMSA Constitution:

  1. Increase the sporting awareness among members of the Association; this will be done by speaking to the male and female sports representatives of each class. I will also work with the UIMSA PRESS to increase the publication of sporting articles by ensuring that the press covers and collates individual and collective sporting activities of the association.
  2. I intend to continue virtual competitions like the UIMSA Carlsen Chess Cup and also include Mobile PES competition, Call of Duty and Scrabble. These virtual competitions would be a ground on which clinical, pre-clinical and pre-lim students can come together and have fun.
  3. To further reinforce unity amidst UIMSAites, I also intend to start the UIMSA Premier League Fantasy group. Interested persons will be on a WhatsApp group, here we will socialize as a family discussing everything sports and setting up formidable teams.
  4. I will also look into engaging our female members in sports. We will do this by interacting and convincing them not only to partake but to participate in sports and give them the support needed.
  5. I believe there is a need to engage UIMSAites so that they can re-ignite and don’t lose interest in the sporting activities they were involved in during their secondary school days.
  6. I will work on improving sporting credibility by organizing inter-class, inter-departmental and inter-medical-school competitions.
  7. I intend to improve our medal haul at the Interfaculty games and the USA games. I will ensure that our participation is well-covered and our medalists receive the recognition they deserve.
    8 The 100-level class would participate in the CBN Cup in the second semester of the academic year, I will ensure that they feel supported and make sure members of my committee do well to attend their matches.
  8. We will also see if we can work on the UIMSA KEEP FIT program.
  9. I also intend to improve our sporting equipment.
  10. I would like to continue the ULYMPICS of the Health Week and I aim to work harder to make it more colourful and interesting.

In an interview with Benjamin on the 16th of April 2023, the Press discussed how the tenure went, in relation to his manifestos and compared to his account of stewardship. Immediately after he was sworn in, he started the sports awareness campaign, reaching out to the males and females in each class. He formed the UIMSA sports publication committee which had its duties to increase awareness, amongst others. The committee was able to make only one publication due to circumstances beyond their control.
Benjamin was also able to continue the UIMSA KEEP FIT, after being on hold for more than two years. UIMSA KEEP FIT is a routine exercise where members of the association come together to work out, to remain healthy. The first one went well with the only issue being the turnout of students. Subsequent routines were done in collaboration with other bodies. He was also able to hold the UIMSA virtual games, although PES competition and Call of Duty Mobile (CODM) couldn’t hold due to reasons that couldn’t favour a 1v1 feature. The first round of games was free but subsequent ones were requested to be paid to allow self-sustainability.
The sports secretary was not available to oversee the NiMSA south-western games because he had other duties to attend to in the Association. The UIMSA fantasy football league started during his tenure also. He discovered that almost every class had its fantasy league so he thought it well to have a large fantasy league that covers every member of the association; it started with 35 participants. The transport of students during the health week was a stressful experience for Benjamin also, although he was happy to have pulled it off and there were little to no faults from the logistics personnel involved.
Female categories were added in the sports sections and games to foster inter-gender relationships. Mixed volleyball games were introduced to foster a healthy relationship. Benjamin is also interested in working with the 100-level class to allow participation in the CBN Cup at the University of Ibadan, should it hold later on even though he would be out of office by then. He also intends to work with the incoming Sports Secretary to combat the challenges he faced in his tenure.

Let’s take a look at what some UIMSAites have to say about Benjamin:

Benjamin Ajoku was an exceptional sports secretary whose dedication and hard work were truly admirable. He consistently went above and beyond to ensure the success of all sporting events and activities, especially during our fresher’s welcome and health week. He always gave his support and encouragement whenever we reached out to him and he was willing to help when necessary. It was a pleasure to work with him.
Moses Ojile, 100-level class.

“I think it was largely a big drop from the standards set by the immediate-past sports secretary. His general running of the sports committee activities left so much to be desired. He was quite frankly clueless on many things and just didn’t seem interested enough. He blamed a lot on inactive committee members but that’s just mostly a lazy excuse for such a grand level of ineptitude.

The ex-sports secretary was meticulous and selfless during his time in office. He had innovations in mind for the sports arm of the association, it’s a shame that they couldn’t be brought into fruition courtesy of the 8-months long strike. Things could have been done differently if he had staple source of funding to start with but all in all, he did his very best and his efforts are well appreciated, at least by me.
Ademola Ayomide, 200-level class.

Peter Adeyemo

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *