We Are Promoting Sports Tourism With Oldies Appreciation Game -Organisers

Kunle Adelabu

-Promise family, guests fun-filled event

The organisers of the Oldies Appreciation Game (OAG) have said that the whole idea behind the annual event in the ancient town of Igbogbo in Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area (LCDA), is to develop a sports tourism where families can enjoy and relax.

They promised a fun-filled outing for guests and families attending this year’s edition holding at the United African Methodist Primary School (Eleja), Igbogbo, on Saturday, April 20.

Prince Ademola Ogunlewe, Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), made the disclosure at the OAG press conference in Igbogbo, on Saturday (yesterday).

At the media briefing where official jerseys for the event were unveiled, were partners, major stakeholders in the sporting circle and invited journalists.

“We are promoting sports tourism with this game and Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA is a major sponsor of this event. If the council is a major sponsor, that means it has taken it over, but our target is to go beyond this level and promote it higher”, Ogunlewe disclosed.

“This year, we have created our social media handles for regular updates and promotions of the events. This would help our projection and exposure.

Prince Ademola Ogunlewe, Chairman, LOC OAG 2024 (standing) addressing journalists and stakeholers at the press conference

“We are still expecting the Lagos State Sports Commission to buy and key into the programme. This is a programme that belongs to the entire community”, he added.

While stating that the organizers are improving on the contents and organization of the annual OAG event, to eventually turn it into a global brand that would make it a big sports tourism, Ogunlewe explained further that the event is aimed at bringing sports veterans and other stakeholders together to create an entertaining and relaxing atmosphere for families that will be attending.

“This is the second edition of the press conference aimed at talking about the OAG and engage media men and our partners. We are improving as a brand and we want to keep improvhg on our delivery and contents. Our partnership and scope are also improving”, he said.

“The event basically has objectives and primarily, it is to appreciate sports veterans and that’s why you see the likes of Baba Bo and others here.

“But it is not just about appreciating the old players alone, there are others like long standing fans, referees and officials that were also involved in the development of the sports. These are the people that have contributed so much to sports development and we want to appreciate them.

Explaining the concept of the OAG further, the LOC Chairman said:

Cross section of stakeholders and guests at the press parley

“A lot of us went through our youths living these memories and loving what we went through while we were growing up.

“You can recall the days of the Green and Super Eagles. We remember the days that we played the game barefooted and we enjoyed it. We want to relive such memories and that’s why we brought this programme together.

“But how can we expand on the scope of this programme? That’s what led us into infusing some other things into it”, he added.

Ogunlewe said that the annual OAG affords families and other fun seekers the opportunity to relax, enjoy and network.

“Many of us have left the sports industry to go into many other things and every day, we wake up between 3am and 4am to go to offices and return late at night. Can we at least create one day in a year to unwind? While doing this, can we bring our families together to join us in the festivities?”, he asked.

“We need to network and raise more friends for us to improve our economic and individual lives. The programme also affords us the opportunity to network amongst ourselves and while doing that, we need to sit down together, unwind and at the same time, network.

OAG organisers, stakeholders and some of the brand sponsors in a group photograph after the briefing

“What does the programme entails in its entirety? One, the main event of the price programme is the novelty match among sports veterans be it in football, lawn tennis, athletic etc, in a 30minutes sport actions. It is a no victim, no vanquish affairs. We just enjoy ourselves”, he said.

Aside the football match among sports veterans like ex Super Eagles and ex – internationals like Peter Rrufai, Friday Elaho, Taiwo Oloyede, Wasiu Ipaye and others, other features of the annual event include exhibition match by national amputee team, medical outreach, fun park for children and other games.

“The second aspect is an exhibition match. This year, we are lucky enough to have the Amputee Eagles that are going for the African Championship, and are in camp. The entire team would grace the occasion to give us an exhibition match”, he said.

“Of course, there will be a medical outreach. Before anybody is allowed to partake in any active game, they must take part in medical check up. We have our medical partner, Cute Medical Centre, to conduct the tests and advice on who are fit to go into the field of play.

“We have other games too, like Ayo Olopon, Draught, Scrabble, Chess, Table Tennis and Snooker for those that are not playing soccer.

“We are bringing fun park from wherever it is situated to Igbogbo, on that day. There will be bouncing castle, mountain climb, swimming pool and other games.

“It is a family and community event. Entertainment and refreshment are not left out”, Ogunlewe said.

The OAG Media & Publicity Director, Tolu Faniyi, also speaking, said that various music acts, hypemen and other entertainers will be featured to entertain guests.

“Various artistes will headline the game . It is a family programme and that’s why we have invested so much in the children fun park to accommodate our children, while their parents are also engaged in adult activities”, he said.

“This year, we will be bringing top hymen to entertain our guests. Some of the artistes expected are DP Dragon, Ijebu Boy, etc”.

Mrs Damilola Edwards , LOC Head of the Children Fun Park of the event, assured families of great fun for their children, while also enjoining them to get the official T-Shirts at N5000 each, for their children to have access to unlimited fun.

FIFA Badge Futball referee, Mr Jelili Ogunmuyiwa, who is also a member of the LOC, also emphasized that the organisers have put in place wholesome entertaining packages for families and guests.

He enjoined guests that have subscribed for the official wears, to put them on before coming into the event arena for proper recognition.

“It’s going to be a different programme. We expect our guests to wear their jerseys, when coming into the venue so as to properly attend to them”, he said.

“We are going to be having our ex internationals like Peter Rufai, Wasiu Ipaye and others. They are coming around to play the game and show us how they did it in the years past”.

He enjoined parents to buy their jerseys for themselves and their children and bring them to enjoy themselves.

“We are bringing the world down to Igbogbo”.

Some of the guests at the media briefing were Hon. Yinka Ogunlaja, Supervisor for Primary Health; Mr Ephraim Bababo, ex international, Dr. Edet Abang, CEO Eddy bang Barploz; Chief Shakiru Orefuwa, Mr. Lekan Ogunbanjo, CEO, Comfort Edge, Mr. Olawale Ipaye, CEO TSG, and Hon. Basirat Banjoko, Deputy Leader, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA Legislative Arm among others.

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