Skoolimpics: Lagos says grassroots sports development sacrosanct
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday says grassroots sports development is sacrosanct and that it will not relent in producing the next generation of world beaters in all sports.
The Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Adewumi Ogunsanya, made the assertion on Wednesday at the opening of the Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
The All-Secondary Schools Games are sponsored by Heritage Bank in partnerships with the sports commission.
The mini-Olympics for the youth is featuring five sports: Athletics, Table Tennis, Handball, Basketball and Swimming.
Ogunsanya said that the efforts of the government would be geared at ensuring that youths were positively engaged in sports to bring the next generation of athletes.
Ogunsanya said: “Heritage Bank has done a good job with the organisation of such a big event as this school sports covering the entire state.
“This type of event will definitely provide the necessary platform for the development of sports at the school level and it is quite commendable.
“The state will not rest on its oars until the next generation of stars are produced which, I believe, they should be from Lagos State.
“I hope this type of wonderful partnerships will be enduring for a bigger content in the future.”
In his address, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said the school sports are a dream come true for the bank.
Sekibo said: “For us in Heritage Bank, it is a dream come true and I am happy that Lagos State accepted to partner with us to develop the youth.
“This is a pilot edition which we are determined to improve upon in the future. This is a platform to engage youths positively, develop their minds and reduce juvenile delinquencies.
“This is a developmental process and creating the next champions in the country.
“I promise to provide an endowment fund of N10 million for any Nigerian product who will break the Mary Onyali’s 200m record of 20.07secs. The fund will be increase yearly.”
The Skoolimpics brand ambassador, Mary Onyali, lauded the organisers for the opportunity given to the young stars to develop their talents.
Onyali said: “This is a great opportunity presenting itself to us today and we are happy with it. The young ones are getting the right exposure. They are making them stars right from youth.
“I want everyone here to make use of the advantage which can open doors of opportunity for you to excel and take you to stardom.
“I can see champions coming out of this event, from being national champions to international champions.”