Ikeja Saddle Club Celebrates Golden Jubilee

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Raheem Akingbolu

As a way of celebrating its achievements and contributions to equestrian sports, Nigeria’s foremost and only equestrian sports club, Ikeja Saddle Club, has celebrated its 50th anniversary on children’s day. The event, which took place at the club’s premises in Isheri, was organised to celebrate Nigerian children and the essence of the club.

Ikeja Saddle Club was established in 1967, at Oregun Ikeja, as a Horse Riding Club by the then Lagos State Governor, Brigadier General Mobolaji Johnson, as a way of supporting equestrian sports and creating a preserved area of flora and fauna within the state. Since then, successive Lagos State Governors have been the Club’s Patron, while His Majesty, the Ooni of Ife has been the Grand Patron of the Club.

Speaking, the President of the Club, Vassily Oye Barberopoulos, noted that the club continues to promote equestrian sport and recreational activities not only to its members but to the Nigerian community and youth at large and it is in the spirit of this they are welcoming member of the public to the golden jubilee celebration of the club. According to him, “It is my resolve with my Executive Committee to have a legacy of a well-run Club that can survive Age and time and offer to generations to come, a heritage of what we all have enjoyed as a family club. This is why as part of the 50 years celebration of our club; we had the Equestrian Games 2017, to engage the younger generations as well.”

“Our club is the heritage for all children to enjoy and bond with one of nature’s kindest animals, the horse.  The Event featured children games, equestrian games, food and a raffle draw, where participants won fantastic prizes. While the children were busy with games, the parents took the opportunity to de-stress from everyday life to ride, take a nature walk, jogging or hit a Polo ball,” Barberopoulos stated.

Ikeja Saddle Club is the place for Horseback Riding in Lagos and Nigeria. Lessons in dressage, jumping and polo are available on weekends by competent instructors for all ages and riding levels. The club is a home to everyone who has passion and love for the noblest of all animals and enjoys having a good time together with others.

‘Through Strategic Leadership Change Management could be Successfully Implemented’

TEXEM is a top UK executive education provider that focuses on the enhancement of the skillsets of African executives especially those from Nigeria, recently delivered a two-day executive development programme on Strategic Leadership for Results Driven Change Management at the British Deputy High Commissioner’s residence, Lagos.

The founder of TEXEM, Dr. Alim Abubakre, articulated that the organisation’s strategic intent is to give back to the African continent by contributing to the development of skillsets that organisations need to succeed.

Informed by this principle, TEXEM organised this executive development programme which took place on the 24th and 25th of May 2017. The training commenced with welcome remarks by Director for international Trade at the British Deputy High Commission, John Woodruff and the CEO of TEXEM, Abubakre.

Thereafter, an inspiring session was delivered by Clive Carpenter on decision making, enabling personal and organisational change during crisis and in prosperity. He advised the delegates on how to better relate with their stakeholders in other to bring about change in the environment. He gave numerous examples citing his experience on the continents of Africa and Europe. Thereafter, Professor Andrew Chambers began his session which was titled ‘Leading and Implementing Organisational Change during Crisis and in Prosperity’. Subsequently, the executives were engaged in a brainstorming session which gave them the opportunity to discuss some of the challenges that their organisations face and explore solutions to this. At 5pm, the first day of the training programme was concluded.

Day two started with a session delivered by Clive Carpenter on organising for innovation. Afterwards, Prof Andrew Chambers delivered the session on leading an accountable organisation in a recession and in prosperity.

Clive Carpenter, FCIB, C.Dir., FIoD said : “In a rapidly changing world, businesses and those managing them must continue to change and evolve if they are to remain fully relevant to the environment they operate in. There is always resistance to change and the TEXEM course was designed to assist senior managers with the change process and to emphasise to them that failure to change and adapt inevitably leads to crisis, obsolescence and eventually extinction.”

In his presentations, Abubakre stressed to the delegates that whatever took their respective businesses to where they are today, the same will not be enough in future. Solutions were offered and the whole change process was clearly explained systematically and systemically.

TEXEM specialises in offering bespoke training to senior professionals to enable them to meet the challenges of today’s world. Feedback from TEXEM’s alumni clearly shows that TEXEM’s programmes achieve excellent results and assist organisations to address the diverse challenges which executives face in today’s world.

“I have great respect for TEXEM and all it stands for and feel privileged to have been asked to share my experience with participants at the recent programme”.

Thereafter, Prof Andrew Chambers delivered a session on leading for the board in a recession and in prosperity. During this session, Chambers explained to senior executives that constructive dialogue is at the heart of a good relationship between the CEO and the board. He advised that executives should always anticipate risk to enable them to be proactive and effectively address issues when they occur. His session was interactive and afforded delegates the opportunity to pose questions.

Chambers suggested that the whistle blowing policy should be implemented in organisations to enable organisations to continuously improve on its processes. And the right of the whistle blower should be protected. He also said that the reputation of the organisation is also the key and the board should be involved in safeguarding the brand equity. And the executives should build awareness, identify the principal risk, draw attention, and develop a plan that would be implemented in times of crisis. He said that leaders should avoid excessive concentration of power but should be effective and not panic in crisis situations as well as keep their staff informed always.

He concluded by saying that the chairman is responsible for the agenda being right for the board.  Chambers summarised: “I know from personal experience that TEXEM strives in an uncompromising way to deliver the highest quality programmes suitable for the most senior people and is dedicated to continuous improvement.  TEXEM is skilled at identifying emerging issues that need the attention of top management and directors, and has an excellent network of leading global authorities to work with, in developing and delivering these programs tailored to Nigeria’s needs.  I recommend TEXEM to senior executives and directors of companies of other organisations who need to keep abreast with leading edge corporate developments, and indeed to stay ahead of the competition.”

At the end of the training, the delegates paid glowing tributes to TEXEM for organising the successful programme and to the distinguished faculties for their inspiring sessions. This was done by Chair of Association of Telecom Operators of Nigeria and CEO communication network support service limited, Gbenga Adebayo.

Finally, certificates were presented to the participants by the Director of International Trade, John Woodruff., Abubakre, Carpenter and Chambers. This was indeed a great avenue for delegates to steepen their learning curve, network with each other which was expressed by participants in a short interview:

“I would like to say thanks and I feel like I’m fortunate enough to attend this programme. This is a networking platform. I got to meet people from different businesses and this is certainly one of the best. This will inspire us to change the way we take decisions. I am so happy to be part of this programme”. Mohan Pant, GM Protea Hotels Kuramo Waters.

“I have enjoyed the training particularly areas talking about how to turn around business in a recession. It’s been educative, informative and interactive. I recommend this programme to any executive who wants to turn around his business in time of crisis. And anyone who wants to meet people of timber and calibre should participate in TEXEM programmes”. Gbenga Adebayo, CEO Communication Network Support Service Limited.

“It has given me a new insight to managing my business. TEXEM really gave me through the experience of the Profs, an insight about what management is all about. If TEXEM continues this way, I will be attending their future programmes. Because at this level, we need to be mentored and continue to train ourselves said MD, Orbital and Oranges Nigeria Limited, Port Harcourt, Otunba Akinola Adegoke Awomodu.

On his part, the MD, ITB Nigeria Limited Ramzi Chidiac, said: “We are really enjoying the topics being discussed. The speakers have a broad background and they are experienced. They have been on board of big companies or chairman of big enterprises. We are learning a lot in terms of leading especially now that the country is going through economic crisis. I want to congratulate TEXEM and I look forward to participating in future seminars in Nigeria.”

“I have immensely benefitted from this programme because the topics are very useful to the present situation of the economy. I have also enjoyed the global world class faculties. It’s an opportunity for networking and sharing local ideas among the delegates. So, in total, it’s been quite an experience and I would like to see this kind of programme continue said Babafemi Olabiyi, Director, Sales, Oando.

“This training by TEXEM is a wonderful one. I found the entire exercise very refreshing. I think Dr Alim Abubakre is a wonderful person who has real vision because the quality of the programme is very high. All the sessions were handled by very qualified and experienced people. I think it’s something I recommend to other management executives to take advantage of”, said the MD, Swampsea Construction Limited, Chiedu Nweke.