-We are infusing sports into school curriculum
Leadership of the newly reconstituted Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) has hit the ground running by touring sporting facilities in the state just a day after the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, announced the development.
The duo of Mr. Sola Aiyepeku, the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, and Mr. Shakirudeen Oluwatoyin Gafaar Bolowotan, the Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, who led the team on the tour of Ikorodu, on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, assured that work will begin soon on the proposed Ikorodu Stadium.
Dr Abatan Abiodun – Fatai, the new member representing the Ikorodu Division on the LSSC board, was also part of the entourage.
The sports administrators visited the ongoing upgrading of the Ita – Elewa Youth Centre into a mini – stadium and commended the facilitator, Hon. Babajimi Benson, the representative of the Ikorodu Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives, for the massive project which they said will positively engage youths in the division.
The youth centre is housing table tennis and other indoor games.
The inspection team, while also at the Igbogbo Township Stadium acquired by the Lagos State Government during the administration of Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, hinted that the facility will be upgraded soon.
Executive Chairman, LSSC, Mr Sola Aiyepeku, while addressing media during the tour, said that physical work will commence soon on the proposed lkorodu stadium while also disclosing that background work has already been done and that its design is ready.
“Things have been happening for months. The Sports Commission has commenced the preliminary work but we all know what happened with COVID-19 about a year ago”, the LSSC Chairman said.
“Already, the state government has done the ground work and we have seen plans designed for the stadium.
“To build a standard or community stadium nowadays, you have to think beyond what was done in the past and look into the future. You have to look at something that is multi – purpose and that also grows with time.
“Whatever that you are building must have room for expansion. It must be self – sustainable. It must be something that will serve the community properly and dine with quality.
“I can assure that physical work is going to start very soon (on the proposed Ikorodu stadium) and it won’t take long before Ikorodu people start enjoying it”, he assured.
He said that the purpose of the tour is to know the state of sporting facilities across the state and ensure that there is equal sports development in every part.
“Ikorodu is a very passionate sports – loving family and the whole idea about our tour is to ensure that sports grow equitably all over Lagos State. That’s why we are here to ensure that people in this community have access to sporting facilities”, he said.
“What we have seen on ground is good and we have already made some observations. For example, there is going to be a 5 – aside pitch and we have look at the width and whether they should broaden it. The length is okay.
“The use of space is very efficient and the dressing rooms and spaces provided for indoor games are good. Basically, the facility is okay.
“The government is also renovating the hall for table tennis and other indoor games.
“It is a great venture and we want to thank Hon. Babajimi Benson for investing here. He’s also a youth and apart from that, he’s a youth in all his actions”, Mr Ayepeku stated while commending the youthful federal lawmaker.
Mr Ayepeku, while also assuring that there is a plan to upgrade the Igbogbo stadium, stated that good facilities will promote and encourage sports development in the state.
“These things take time but we are already working on one but there nothing bad in having two facilities. I am sure that if we have stadia working, we’ll all be happy.
“It will help to promote sports because we have many talented youths around who need space to showcase their talents. Let’s get one stadium going first and then we can talk about the others.
“Like I said about equity, let’s start with one here and then, we can spread it across Lagos. There are still other facilities in other parts of the state that are also in need of attention.
He said that the governor has injected new blood that will further propel the commission with the reconstitution of State Sports Commission, especially with the involvement of more youths.
“The reconstitution of the board is made up of younger people which are part of the calls on the governor to get more youths involved in governance.
“We have people who are not just sports – minded but also have management skill and experience; people who can generate revenue and bring new ideas to make sure that we have new kind of sports.
“Modern sports have evolved from what used to be the top -end of the market which is where we are in Nigeria. Talk about sports is not just people playing but also those in the background, the broadcasters, administrators, sponsorship and others. These are what make sports sustainable.
“There are more women in the board now which makes it more gender – friendly and inclusive while there are also more youths involvement.
Also speaking, the LSSC Director – General, Mr Bolowotan, said that the government is encouraging the bringing of sporting activities back to schools.
“Not only that, we have sports back in our schools, we are encouraging all our schools in this regard. Very soon, you will see the curriculum of the Ministry of Education and Sports is going to be part of it. We are bringing it back.
“It is compulsory that we combine sports with education and we have already concluded that”, he added.
“One of the first programmes that we did was the summer camp which is very paramount to the commission and it is a youth – based programme. We will continue with that and also those we had with the Education Districts.
“We just concluded another one (summer camp) last month for our girl -child and participants engaged in swimming and taekwondo. All the the six districts in Lagos were involved.
“There are lots of them that we are doing but due to the COVID pandemic, we have been controlling the number of participants. However, you will be seeing more of these activities that we have been doing with the support of the Mr Governor in developing the youths”, he said.
He stated that the state is taking adequate caution in reopening sporting facilities and engagements in view of the COVID-19 pandemic which he said is still ravaging, adding that the state contingent will be participating in the national sports festival.
Also speaking on the proposed stadium for Ikorodu, Bolowotan also assured that work will commence soon while also stating that the state government will be providing necessary facilities at various sporting centres in the state.
“You will see the government’s handwork very soon regarding the stadium in Ikorodu and we are all going to be happy, he assured lkorodu people.