Ambode orders sports festival for physically challenged athletes

•A weight lifter during a weightlifting tourney.

•A weight lifter during a weightlifting tourney.

•A weight lifter during a weightlifting tourney.
•A weight lifter during a weightlifting tourney.

Taiwo Adelu

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has ordered that from next year, an annual sports festival mainly for physically challenged athletes will be holding in Lagos State.

The governor made this known to celebrate the World Disability Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to honour “People with Disability” globally.

Speaking at a special event for the physically challenged students in Lagos State organised by the Lagos State Sports Commission at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere on Thursday, the Chairman of the Commission, who is also a Special Adviser on sports to the Governor, Mr. Deji Tinubu, disclosed that Ambode has ordered that from 2016, physically challenged athletes will henceforth be given a sense of belonging by participating in an annual Games to celebrate them and
make them happy.

Tinubu also disclosed that Lagos recognised the importance of these set of special people, a reason the Sports Commission organised a special event for them on World Disability Day.

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“The Commission has moved the celebration a bit forward in order to achieve the purpose we have set out to celebrate. Therefore, the theme which has been modified is “Inclusion Matters-Access and empowerment for the people of all abilities through sports participation.

“The Sports Commission in its bid to further deepen the significance of the day has decided to use this day to introduce sports as a means of embracing more dignifying and productive ventures to people with disabilities who have been given the opportunity of partaking in sporting activities,” said Tinubu, a former board member of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.

Series of activities were lined up for the physically challenged students who were drawn from different schools across Lagos. They were taken round the Teslim Balogun Stadium complex. Coaches also took them through the rudiments of sports such as Ayo, Scrabble, Para-Powerlifting,
Deaf Volleyball, Para-Athletics, Deaf Badminton, Para Table Tennis, Billiard and dancing for those who are mentally retarded for them to exercise their physical bodies.

Tinubu said that all the schools that participated in the special event to celebrate the World Disability Day will be given a set of sports equipment to further encourage their students to engage in sporting
activities.