28th September, 2011
Â Mr. Agboola Dabiri is the Chairman, Lagos State Sports Council. In this interview with EROMOSELE EBHOMELE, he discusses the programmes of the council, why it is embarking on training of kids in the state and its preparation for the forthcoming National Sports Festival
What are the reasons behind the training of kids in the state?
It is a catch-them-young programme that we are doing. I wonâ€™t really call it holiday programme. It is just to create awareness in sports among small kids in the state. Though we are starting quite late, it would be continuous.
While carrying out the exercise, we are going to pick kids among the lot that we can really nurture. And it will not even surprise some of us to discover that some of the kids would end up representing the state at the National Sports Festival level.
What about the facilities with which to train these kids?
Itâ€™s part of the budget we have in place for this exercise, coupled with the fact that Lagos would be hosting the next National Sports Festival. We planned to have some few consumable and equipment for the kids. We are going to do this and also upgrade the facilities we have in the state. It is compulsory that we just do that.
This idea of catching them young is nice, but why are you limited to only 11 sports?
We are limiting ourselves to 11 because of the limited space we have here and as I stated earlier, it is a continuous thing. After this edition, we are going to come up with another one in few weeks from now.
As head of the National Sports Festival, what are the sporting activities lined up for the council?
There is a blue-print which we are going to present to the Ministry of Sports. I also know that our sport commissioner is prepared for the event.
He is an experienced person and would make things easier for us. Without the blue-print which is like an encyclopaedia for the preparation and hosting of the festival, it wonâ€™t go well. The blue-print is ready and would be presented to the Commissioner onward to the Governor for consideration.
As the chairman of the council, how would you rate sports development in the state?
Sports development has improved because there is the enthusiasm to make it improve. If you go to schools in the state, you would understand what I am saying.
We have been able to get 400 kids for this programme and soon, the number would increase to 600. By Godâ€™s grace also, we are going into the training of Physical Education masters in schools so that sporting activities in schools would improve. We are having more of sporting activities now. Last year, we had more competitions compared to the previous years. We were able to get some multinationals to sponsor sports.
Most states concentrate on the sports they have advantage of. How many are you going to concentrate on ahead of the festival?
Being the host State, we cannot say we are concentrating on one or two. We have to put our minds in all the sporting events that are going to take place. There are about 25 events, but we have to pay special attention to multi-medals’ events.