Federal Government has identified sports as a potent tool to engage young people and address the plight of vulnerable youth and children across the country.

Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments, Hajiya Maryam Uwais, disclosed this while addressing participants at the opening ceremony of a training programme for coaches on Monday in Abuja.

The event is a three-day training programme for 20 sports coaches drawn from five states and four nominated by the Federal Government will act as monitors.

Tagged “Line Up, Live Up training for coaches” (LULU), the programme is being facilitated on the platform of the At-Risk-Children Programme ARC-P, an initiative of the Office of the Vice President.

States benefiting from the first phase of the training programme are Kaduna, Gombe, Ekiti, Sokoto and Borno.

It is directly supervised by the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, with support from the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes ( UNODC).

LULU aims at empowering sport coaches with the requisite knowledge on life skills to effectively engage out-of-school children and other vulnerable young people to take advantage of new opportunities and become productive.

The approach is to use the instrument of sports to empower street children across the country, with a view to redirecting them away from crimes such as violence, crime, drug abuse, drug trade, human trafficking,  among others. The Special Adviser explained

Hajiya Maryam Uwais said the coaching course was one of the many interventions of the ARC-P initiative of the Federal Government geared towards addressing the cross-cutting concerns of children at risk, thereby providing them with a life of dignity.

She lamented the plight of out-of-school youth and children, who were in huge numbers across the country, while urging the participants to take the training seriously and use the knowledge gained to assist the government in its efforts to give a new lease of life to vulnerable children and youth in the country.

The special adviser thanked all partners of ARC-P,  including UNODC, for their support in ongoing efforts by the Nigerian government to assist vulnerable youth and children in the country.