20th March, 2012
Lagosians have been advised to use the opportunity of the Lagos Inter-Clubs Championship to form clubs of their own in order to be part of the ongoing transformation of sports in the state.
Speaking in his office at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to Governor Raji Fashola, said that Lagos State Government plans to use the Inter-Clubs Competition as a good platform to create a new pool of athletes for future tournaments.
“We want to use this medium to encourage individuals, shop owners, private offices and companies, large corporate organisations-both private and public- to set up clubs in their choice sports and register with relevant sports associations to enable them participate in these regular sporting competitions that are now athletes-centered,” he said.
Prince Oladunjoye, whose office is facilitating and packaging the Inter-Clubs Competition with active collaboration of the Ministry of Sports and Social Development in conjunction with sports associations, said that “in our effort to reconnect with the reality on ground, Lagos State will like to unleash at all levels of sports development, emphasising grassroots, hence Governor Raji Fashola’s initiative of these quarterly Inter-Clubs activities to support all the sports associations that were newly inaugurated in Lagos.”
He noted that the “benefits inherent in the programme itself is to evolve a new pool of athletes where individuals, private clubs (enterprises, small shop owners/offices), corporate organisations (banks, insurance offices) and public corporations can participate as clubs in all the activities.
“That is why over half of the approvals for each sports association is earmarked and mandated as empowerment incentives to be paid directly to these athletes, whose clubs excel in these quarterly competitions as well as others that the associations are currently soliciting sponsorship from individuals and corporate bodies.
He further said that the new pool of athletes is not only necessary for the forthcoming National Sports Festival, which Lagos will host alone, but Governor Fashola has directed a three-year long sports programme, where athletes will be adequately rewarded with handsome cash awards to generate interest at several levels.