The Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), has conducted screening for all athetes who will represent the State at the forthcoming 5th National Youth Games holding in Ilorin, Kwara State , from 7th to 17th September , 2019.
The exercise, which took place inside the main bowl of the Teslim Balogun Stadium and conducted by LSSC and some of the Sports Associations’ Officials, was embarked upon to ensure that only eligible athletes from Lagos participate in the multi-games competition.
Speaking on the exercise, Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Oluwatoyin Gafaar , said that the screening became necessary towards achieving success at the Games, and more importantly, to mitigate the chances of the State athletes being screened out from participating at the Games, thereby,denying them the opportunity to showcase their talents.
According to him, “In Lagos, we adhere to rules and regulations of the National Youth Games and that’s why we brought all the athletes with their coaches and parents to see the genuineness of the screening in view of our focus and determination to play by the rules. I’m really happy about what we’ve done and every one of us can see that the process was fair, we are all happy and the parents don’t have reasons to complain”.
“The athletes are also happy and coaches now know that they have new challenges in preparing the athletes for a successful outing in Ilorin because we made a promise to our amiable Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu , that we will not disappoint him because he has played his own part by providing everything for us to succeed and this is the beginning of the process of fulfilling our promise to make the State proud at the games”, Gafar said.
On his part, the Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh , explained that the State wants to maintain the progress made in the area of youth and sports development by fielding athletes who are below 15 years as stipulated by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
Tandoh said, “From our own end here, we are determined to present athletes that are definitely under 15. We don’t know what other States will do but in Lagos, we believe that if we start young and have an enduring grassroots programmes, we will not have difficulty in producing athletes that are under 15.
“So, we embarked on this screening process for ourselves to ensure that we go to Ilorin with athletes that are of the right age. For us, we are not desperate to win, it’s not a win at all cost but we want to continue the production line of athletes, not just for Lagos State but for Nigeria”.
While revealing that the Athletes will also undergo medical screening to ensure that they are fit to take part in the games, the Chairman stated that ‘Team Lagos’ will continue training at the closed camp starting from next week till early September.