Lagos State Commissioner for Sports, Enitan Oshodi
By Kunle Adewale
Ahead of this year’s National Sports Festival billed for November, Lagos State Commissioner for Sports, Enitan Oshodi has stated that the state is not only looking at the economic gain the festival will bring to the state, but intends to leave a legacy of continued sporting development in Lagos at the end of the games.
In a chat with THISDAY, Oshodi said the state is working hard to ensure all facilities are in place before the festival commences.
“Currently a lot of rehabilitation and renovation works are ongoing. The Local Organising Committee is working very hard to put in place structures that will deliver a brilliant festival. His Excellency the Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Fashola has been very supportive, alongside the Chairman of the LOC the Deputy Governor. All hands are on deck to ensure the success of the games. The Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdulahi, Main Organising Committee and the National Sports Commission have been very supportive and have been advising on ways to make sure we make Nigeria proud,” Oshodi said.
On what the state hopes to benefit from the hosting of the festival, the former chairman of the Table Tennis Association in the state said: “The benefits to the state apart from whatever economic gains to be made during the games is to leave a legacy of continued sporting development in Lagos, especially in the areas of schools and grassroots sports development.”
Continuing he said: “The facilities currently in use and the excellent financial support we are giving our athletes and associations are expected to continue and ensuring that Lagos evolves to become a sports tourism destination in the mould of London and other big cities of the world. We have the facilities and a sports loving public and as such we are sure that we can achieve great success using the National Sports Festival as a driver for these goals.”
Oshodi is indeed of the opinion that new athletes that the country can count on in future Olympic will emerge at the end of the National Sports Festival, saying, “That is what we are preparing some of these athletes for and we believe we will achieve same. In the next few months and after the festival, we will highlight some of the ways in which we can achieve the goal of our athletes becoming the stars of the next Olympics,” he added.