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Athletics Federation of Nigeria, (AFN) board member Gloria Obajimi, has commended the organisers and athletes taking part in the ongoing Lagos Secondary Schools Athletics Championship at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
The former national athlete said at the venue of the tourney that the maiden edition has far been organised according to the standard approved by the AFN.
Obajimi also expressed her excitement with the partnership of Lagos State government in organising athletics championship for secondary schools to meet the yearnings of the students.
She said: “For us to be able to make it right in athletics in this country we need to continue to give our young athletes the opportunity to showcase their talents. I am very happy that Lagos State, through the Ministry of Sports, has been able to give our upcoming athletes a chance in this schools championship. And as you can see that the athletes themselves have not been disappointing through their performances and enthusiasms.”
Obajimi, however, tasked athletes who are participating in more than one sport to concentrate on the sport in which they know that they have the edge over the others.
The National Institute for Sports (NIS) lecturer also called on government and other stakeholders to support young athletes in the country, saying that it would help them remain focused in their chosen careers.
The championship that started on 25 February is scheduled to end on 9 March with numerous secondary schools participating in eents such as long jump, shot put, high jump, discuss throwing, javelin, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m.
Representing Ojota Senior Secondary School at the ongoing Lagos School Athletics Championships George Oluwafemi said is an opportunity for him to develop his skills in the track and field events.
Oluwafemi, who has an ambition of becoming a medical doctor said, he believes that competing at the tourney would not only help him develop his skills, but it would do same to other athletes taking part in the schools sports tourney.
Unlike some of his classmates, whose parents are not encouraging them to combine sports and education, Oluwafemi said that he is enjoying the support of his parents. “My father has been a strong pillar and he is making me feel like a winner. I believe that I am a winner already. My mother is also another source of inspiration to me because she is a sports loving woman,” he said.
On why he chose to be a thrower, Oluwafemi noted that he has comparative advantage in shot-put because of his height and other attributes. “I chose shot-put because of some qualities that will bring the best out of me in the sport. I want to make my family proud in the nearest future because I’m destined to be a winner.”
The 16 years old student rated the standard of the tourney high, saying that “our competition here is not a do-or-die affair as you can see. We are just competing because the organisers made us understand that we should exhibit spirit of sportsmanship. I just pray there are no causalities, so we can all meet to compete again.”
Five years from now Olufemi hopes to have concluded his university education after which he hopes to give back to the country, “I should be through with my university education in five years time and I hope to setup a sports foundation someday because I have the passion to discover budding talents and nurture them to great heights,” he said.