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Ikorodu Sports Summit wants enhanced support for sports development

Participants at the maiden Ikorodu Sports Summit have called for enhanced support for activities in sports to actively engage the youths and curb youth restiveness in the community.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Ikorodu Local Government Council of Lagos State organised the sport summit involving stakeholders in the Local Government Area (LGA) on Thursday. The summit aims to make Ikorodu division the sports hub of Lagos State in particular, and in Nigeria in general.

The mission is to encourage the citizenry in the division to develop and also maintain love for sports both for their competitive and recreational purposes. Discussants at the summit called for support for the project which, they said, would open a new vista in the history of the community as a frontrunner in sports development. Speaking, a member of Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Ikorodu Division, Gbenga Oshin, said that sports unite people of Ikorodu more which could be an advantage.

“Sports unite us and more than that, sports are what we do consciously or unconsciously, walking, jumping or other activities revolves around sports. “Sport has to do with our physical fitness knowing full well that everyone wants to be physically fit.

“We thank God that Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode is recognising us in Ikorodu because we have a stadium under construction located at Igbogbo in Ikorodu which is topmost in the list on the budget. “Here in Ikorodu, we have great sportsmen that are doing well all over the world, sportsmen who have done the city proud. “They include great sportsmen like the great sprinter, Falilat Ogunkoya, the present African Woman Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala and number one sprinter in Nigeria, Seye Ogunlewe and others,’’ he said. Hakeem Olukunga of the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), said that Ikorodu town had once missed the opportunity to have a stadium when 10 hectares of land initially earmarked for the construction was turned to a housing estate. “Ikorodu town has once missed the opportunity to have a stadium when the 10 hectares earmarked for the stadium was converted to a housing estate. “Now, the way forward is that the government has considered an international standard stadium in

Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) which is a good site for the stadium. “We also have other mini stadium abandoned about seven years ago. It is now under consideration.

The Igbogbo community playground and also the mini stadium at Ijede are under consideration. “My appeal is that when government comes to look for land for stadium project, we should all support it. By the programme of government, all the stadiums under construction will be completed by 2020,’’ he said.

The convener of the sports summit, Folashade Olabanji-Oba, said that though Ikorodu city had been enmeshed in crisis before, the community was now peaceful for sports events. “We have had our own share of crisis like, Badoo cultism and pipeline vandalism, the city is now peaceful for sports activities to succeed. “Going by what happened during this World Cup, when all the youths troop out to watch the games, we want to sustain this and latch into the project. “My assertion is that if football can attract such a huge following, what about other sports? We have Basketball, Volleyball, Handball and other sports, we can grow them big in Ikorodu land. “It is my belief that sports will assume a greater dimension in Ikorodu whereby our youths will be actively involved and have great sportsmen and women,’’ she said.

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