No fewer than 60 budding wrestlers were added to the pool of talents under the care of Lagos State Wrestling Association during a three-day Closed wrestling Wrestling Workshop/Championship organised in Epe Division at the weekend.
The young wrestlers who are secondary school students from about 16 schools in Epe division were discovered after they were taken through the rudiments of the combat sport which included male freestyle, Greco Roman and female freestyle in the junior and senior categories of the competition that featured about 300 students at Odo Obara High School, Epe.
Director General of Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr Adewunmi Ogunsanya described the performance of the budding talents as exceptional, adding that if they could performed excellently well within three days of exposure to wrestling, he wondered what they would do after a long period of exposure to the game.
“What we’re doing is to genuinely focus on grassroots development of sports because this is where the talent abound. The performance of these young wrestlers shows that they have the potentials to make it and improve in the game. We are going to do similar thing in other divisions. The association will take over the tutoring of these 60 wrestlers, ” Ogunsanya said. The Director General emphasised that in the long run Lagos State planned to have in its pool young and promising athletes who would be nurtured to become future stars of not only the state but for the country.
To the Chairman of Lagos State Wrestling Association, Prince Adenekan said there is urgent need for government, private organisations and individuals to support the development of wrestling in Lagos.
He commended the facilitating support the association received to organise the Closed Wrestling Workshop and Championship from the Sports Commission.
Awards and prizes were given to outstanding students wrestlers at the end of the competition. Ikudehindu Abiodun, SS 3 student of Ogunmodede Senior College, Epe was adjudged the best male wrestler, while Ochiko Abraham, a SS 3 student of Army Children Senior High School, Epe was adjudged the best female wrestler of the tournament.
While Ochiko came first in 50kg female freestyle Keji Hassan of Alaro Community Senior Secondary School and Aishat Famuyiwa of Pobuma Senior Secondary School came second and third respectively. Ikudehindu was first in the male 50kg, while Tobi Ogunkoya of Odomola Senior Secondary School and Ismal Umoru of Community Senior Secondary School were second and third respectively.
There were winners in various categories contested for in the three days event.