…Re-affirms commitment to take over National Stadium
Barely few days to the end of the week-long 18th National Sports Festival, Lagos State is already singing praises of her achievements. According to the Chairman Local Organising Committee, Princess Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, Lagos has surpassed the achievements made by the last host, Rivers State and the 2006 host, Ogun State respectively.
In terms of the general overview of the featival, the deputy governor said Lagos really tried to improve beyond what was witnessed at the last edition of the festival in Rivers. “We are living up to our image as the Centre of Excellence. We have put machinery in motion to make good impression and so far, we can beat our chest for the job well done. Even though, there were hitches, but we have been able to put them under control.
The athletes and officials who visited Lagos for the first time are in love with the everything about the state. Our visitors had been carried away by the beauty and effective organisation of the festival. We really planned for the festival,”she said. Princess Adefulire said the festival had become a great blessing to the athletes and the volunteers as they may get automatic employment shortly after the festival. “Sports has become a driving force to take unemployment off the street of Lagos. Some of our athletes, who are jobless, would be engaged and the volunteers too.
We have informed them to submit their CVs. We strongly believe that is the only way to encourage our athletes and others who contributed to the success of the festival in Lagos. In its determination to discover and nurture hidden talents in the state, Adefulire said the festival has helped, in no small measure, to get some athletes that may represent the nation in the future international events. She said had mandated coaches to go round all the venues to look out for talents not only in the Lagos team but also among other states in Lagos for the festival.
“We are happy to join Delta and Rivers in the campaign to build a strong team for Nigeria in the future Olympic Games. Every state knows its area of specialization and by participating in the festival is also an added advantage as everybody would have the opportunity to see the potentialities in these athletes,”she said. “There are more Okochas, Odegbamis, Amokachis in this country. The festival is another breeding ground to discover more talents and working day and night to make everything work according to plans,”she said.
The Deputy Governor also re-affirmed Lagos bid to take over the rotten National stadium in Surulere. She said they had applied for the take-over since but the National Sports Commission has not responded positively to their request. “Since the stadium is in Lagos, we have been trying to move into the arena anf give it a face-lift but NSC has not assisted us in that regard.
She however said Lagos planned to invest more in sports development and also maintain all the existing facilities used for Eko 2012. The festival is expected to end on Sunday and the organizing committee is already at the verge of putting up a remarkable ceremony that would surpass the opening event originally organized to illustrate the rich history of the state.