Players Thrill Fans At Lagos Traditional Games

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By Taiwo  Adelu

Players of draughts, cards, Ayo Olopon and Agidigbo were delight to watch at the Sam Shonibare Community Centre, Surulere, Lagos State during the maiden  edition of the traditional sports championship organised by Youth Empowerment Initiatives in conjunction with the Office of the Special Assistant on  Grassroots Sports Development to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola.

The tournament was put together to keep both young and old people busy with participation in recreational activities within Surulere Local Government and  Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area.

The interesting game of the competition was Gidigbo, an indigenous wrestling contest, which many fans found very exciting and hilarious to watch. It drew  applause from the fans and dignitaries, which included Prince Wale Oladunjoye, Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to Governor  Babatunde Raji Fashola, Dr. Olu McGuinnis Otubusin, a US-based Nigerian, Olatunde Lawrence-Aigoro and Shina Mustapha Amusa, councilors in Itire-Ikate LCDA.

At the end of the Gidigbo bout, Gbenga Omosawe from Shitta dusted all contestants to win the star prize of N15,000, while Abubarka Lawal from Lawanson came  second with a cash prize of N10,000. Sulaimon Umaru from Itire-Ikate came third  and won N5,000.

In draughts, Toyin Ishola from Baruwa came first beating Friday Egwata from Lawanson, Amerika Chinedu from Itire-Ikate and Amata Atare to the second, third  and fourth positions respectively.

In Cards event, Ekeloju Oti from Shitta was adjudged the winner. In the second position was Gbotolorun Sikiru from Shitta, while Ali Buraimo and Muyibi  Adejumo came third and fourth respectively.

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Adebayo Michael from Itire-Ikate was the winner in Ayo Olopon. Toyin Oyeyemi (Surulere), Oyedokun Segun (Itire-Ikate) and Odeyemi Olajide came second, third  and fourth respectively.

The Ram Charging contest was another event that drew applause from the fans. Van Der Sar beat other rams to win the star prize of N25,000 and a gold medal.  Aboki came second and won N15,000 and a sliver medal, while Odogbolu came third and was given N10,000 and a bronze medal.

Dr. Otubosin praised the initiative of the Lagos State Governor, Fashola from resuscitating the neighbourhood games, saying watching the players in action  reminded him of the olden days when traditional games were at their best. “This is the best thing to happen in sports in Lagos. I’m very glad seeing these  players both old and young playing these games. Traditional games are played everywhere in the world,” he said.

Coordinator of the  Youth Empowerment Initiatives, Sodiq Yisa Ajibona, told P.M.Sports that the success of the one day tourney was a result of hard work of  his members.

He commended Governor Fashola and  Prince Oladunjoye for giving the youths the chance to showcase their God-given talent through sports.

“Governor Fashola has done a lot to use sports as an empowerment tool for the youths of the state. Resuscitating traditional games is another way to identify  with the people at the grassroots. You can see how the winners were excited receiving prize monies, a situation they have never experienced before,” he said.

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