Lagos State Government has again taken a bold step to develop sports from the grassroots withÂ the resuscitation of traditional games across the state.
The office of the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to Governor underÂ Prince Wale Oladunjoye in conjunction with Mainland Movers Organisation and Lagos StateÂ Traditional Sports Association is organising a championship that features Draughts, Ayo Olopon,Â Cards, and ram contest at all the Local Government Councils and the Local GovernmentÂ Development Areas of the state.
At the Yaba LCDA, the competition drew a total of 131 players, but 38 players scaled theÂ hurdles of the preliminary stage to the quarter finals, which will take place on Saturday atÂ Birrel Primary School, Sabo, Yaba. The semi finals and finals will also take place on the sameÂ day.
Head of Technical Committee of the tournament, Adeogun Sunday, told P.M.Sports that nineÂ players made it to the quarter finals in each of the four zones in Yaba. According to him, ZoneÂ 1 comprises of Abule Oja, Abule Ijesha and Jibowu with the venue at Adenike Street Club, AbuleÂ Ijesha.
In Zone 2 are Onike, Iwaya and Makoko with the venue at Arowolo/Pedro Club, Iwaya;Â Zone 3Â consists of Sabo, Alagomeji and Rowe Park with the venue at Rowe Park Sports Centre, Yaba,Â while Zone 4 comprises of Adekunle, Evans Square and Borno Way with the venue at Borno Way.
â€œWe have concluded the preliminaries of all the sports in these venues. We are now set for theÂ quarter finals, semi and the finals on Saturday (tomorrow). Because of the nature of theÂ competition, it is easy for us to conclude the tourney in a day as planned to give Lagos IslandÂ LG, and Lagos Island West and East LCDAs the chance to begin their own leg of theÂ championship,â€ he said.
Speaking on the aim of his office on the tourney, Prince Oladunjoye said that â€œthe governmentÂ wants to encourage the participation of interested individuals and clubs to reactivate ourÂ pursuit of total grassroots sports. We want to engage these clubs in competitions of Cards,Â Draughts,Â Ayo Olopon and Ram contest for those interested in such tourney with prize money asÂ empowerment.
â€œThe aim is to cater for those categories of individual and corporate bodies who have beenÂ involved in these games /sport as hobbies and recreational event. The pilot study has begun inÂ Mainland and Yaba LCDAs, we intend to spread the fanfare to other local government areas in theÂ state as soon as possible.â€