‘How Squash Can Be Developed In Lagos’


There is no doubt that Lagos State Government has embarked on sustained sports development since Babatunde Fashola became the governor of Lagos State in 2007.

Thousands of youths who are unemployed for many years got their employment through sports in the state. Today, the state can boast of sport facilities that can host so many games compared to other states in the federation.

But one sport  that is still lagging behind is squash.  Despite the efforts of  the Lagos State government to promote sports in the state,  the game of squash has been relegated to the background. This gives the administrators, coaches and players of the game a serious concern.

The Squash court at the Rowe Park Sports Centre, Yaba is an eye sore. The court cannot organise a National Open Championship let alone hosting international championship. The private companies fail to sponsor Squash tournament as the environment is not conducive for sponsors.

As the Lagos State Squash Association is planning to organise Under 14 Squash championship this Thursday at the Lagos State Sport Council, Ebute Meta, Lagos, the children that will take part in the championship may not give their best as the facilities are  obsolete.

The chairman of the association, Chief Edward Omotesho, therefore,  said the challenge before the association now is lack of facilities which hinder the progress of the game in the state.

“This is my ten years of being the chairman of the association and I am not really comfortable with the state of the game in the state. Our squash court in the sport council is nothing to write home about and it is seriously affecting our programmers. I have said it many times that government should at least build one squash court in each local government are if they want the game to grow but nothing has been done about it,” he said.

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Omotesho said the game of squash in the state can move forward if the government renovates the squash court in the sport council and build at least one each at the local government. Apart from this, the chairman said the government should provide sport aids to all the associations so that the money can be used to  maintain the facilities and organise workshop and competitions for the players.

“I spent my personal money to make sure the squash court get a facelift before we start our competition on Thursday. If I don’t do that I don’t think we can organise competition for the children especially when they are on holiday,” said Omotesho, who appealed to the state government to come to their aid.

He said it is a shame that Lagos cannot boast of a standard squash court that can host national competitions apart from the private owned ones in the state. Omotesho is worried that the game of squash may die if there is no sport facilities and a lot of the players will run away to represent other states in the forthcoming National Sports Festival coming up in Cross River State.

“Most of the companies I approached for the sponsors did not show interest in the game because we cannot boast of standard squash court. We cannot organise a state tournament except we take the event to a private owned squash court because we will pay a lot of money,” he said.

Omotesho said government should put sports facilities in place before the state can organise national or international competitions. He said if Lagos fails to do that, it will lose good athletes for another states in the nearest future.

—Sunday Akintoye

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