21st May, 2010
With less than 48 hours to the final of the Third Opeyemi Bamidele Boxing Competition, the coordinator of the competition, Tayo Popoola told ADEBOBOLA ALAWODE that the competition will continue to unearth budding boxing talents and how they have been able to sustain it
Q: The Opeyemi Bamidele Boxing Competition is in its third edition, why have you continued to stage it?
A: The reason we are staging this tournament is to empower youths. We in the organising committee have discovered that Nigeria has a lot of talents and we deemed it fit that we should discover them and nurture them to become world beaters. Another reason we are staging this competition is to honour the former Commissioner for Youths Sports and Social Development, Barrister Opeyemi Bamidele, who is now Commissioner for Information. We decided to continue with the legacy he left behind so that we can continue from where he stopped.
Q: Since Opeyemi is no longer the Commissioner for Sports, how have you been able to source for funds to stage the competition?
A: Well, we get support from him and apart from that we at the committee level tax ourselves because we cannot always rely on people.
Q: This year recorded more than 200 amateur boxers in attendance, what would you say is responsible for this?
A: It is true that we have more amateur boxers this year than previous ones. This is because the boxers have seen that we are always improving on the organisation. They know that the judges we have on parade have never been biased in their decisions. It is not even the prize money that they are after but what they stand to gain from participating. If you get pummeled by a better boxer, it is obvious that your coach will know your lapses and work on it.
Q: Who are the dignitaries expected to grace Sundayâ€™s final?
A: Of course, the Honourable Commissioner would be there, and all those in the Lagos State Exco, I mean we are expecting everybody that matters in the state, and those that have the love of the sport at heart.