Sports Festival: Lagos Athletes Credit Grassroots Policy For Success


Some athletes from Lagos state, who were discovered at the just-concluded 18th National Sports Festival, has said the state’s grassroots policy is gradually realising its objective.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adopt-A-Talent project began in 2010 by the Lagos State Grassroots Sports Development Programme in the Governor’s Office.

The project is for corporate organisations and philanthropists to adopt athletes and sponsor them.

Aminat Olowora, the winner of women’s 10,000m race at the Games, tagged ‘Eko 2012’, said the Adopt-A-Talent grassroots sports development did the magic for her atthe festival.

Olowora, who is being sponsored by a Chinese firm, said the feat could not have been possible without her being exposed to the sport by the Grassroots Sports Development Programme through its Adopt-A-Talent Project. The sprinter, who was the delight of sports fans in the athletics event, also won the 5,000m to clinch two gold medals.

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She thanked the management of the project, especially the Senior Special Adviser to the State Governor on Grassroots Sports Development, Wale Oladunjoye, for initiating it.

She said that it had exposed her to the basic rudiments of athletics. The athlete also thanked the Commissioner for Sports, Youth and Social Development, Wahid Enitan-Oshodi for his advice, especially during the event. Olowora disclosed that her intention was to represent Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

She added that she would start preparations for the 2014 Games to be hosted by the Cross River Government in Calabar. to be able to surpass the time she returned. Other Team Lagos athletes who were discovered from the Grassroots Sports Development Programme also commended the initiative and urged the government to sustain it.

They are 16-year-old Mercy Olope who won one silver and bronze from the relays,  Mutiyat Adebayo won a gold medal in the women’s boxing in flyweight category and  Phillip Johnson who won silver in the men’s 4×400 relay.

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