Lagos calls for more partnerships to develop school sports

Shola Akinpelu

The Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Sola Aiyepeku, has called for more partnerships for better development of school sports in the state.

Aiyepeku made the call at the Elite School Cup (ESCA cup) management stakeholders’ meeting with the LSSC team at the Holy Child College, Obalende, Lagos.

ESCA cup is an annual competition among some selected private schools in Lagos.

Highlighting the need for more collaborations in school sports, Aiyepeku noted that untapped potential abound among private schools’ children who could be nutured as future stars in sports in Nigeria.

“We are open to develop sports all round in Lagos State because we are the pacesetters in Nigeria; not minding this, we want to continue with our lead by discovering more sporting potential resident in Lagos.

“We want to develop our school children, and we have said that we are open to more collaborations from all stakeholders for the both private and the public schools.

“We need to work together to create opportunities for our children, we want more platforms for them to fully express themselves not only in football, but in other sports.

“We have about 44 sports associations in Lagos State and we need to spread this gospel to every nook and cranny of the state, we want our children to explore other sports as well,” he said.

Aiyepeku also called for synergies in sports infrastructure to engender a spread in sporting activities in the state.

“We also want to maximise the competitive advantage to see that, where the private schools have sports infrastructure that the public don’t have, we synergise, although the state government is also providing more.

“We are calling on the stakeholders to provide a unique platform for sports development; we run an open door policy for all and we have sub-divided the commission so that we can have an interface.

“We want to be part of any progress in sports, we want to restore school sports to where it was about 20 years ago, because we are left to wonder what has happened to school sports.

“For us, we are ready to do all we can to bring back the glorious days of school sports in Nigeria,” he said.

Also, the chief executive officer (CEO) of ESCA Cup, Babajide Shokoya, said the competition aimed at providing a single platform for all the private schools to participate in sports.

“We have found out that there are not many platforms for private schools to come together and compete in sports.

The dream is to have all the private schools to have a unified platform to showcase their talents.

“Nigeria is blessed with many talents spread across the private schools as well; and we need to develop them.

During the course of engagement, I observed many young children who were in need of exposure to sports.

“These young ones need a platform to manifest. For us, the 4th edition of ESCA Cup will come with new additions such as E-Sports and Swimming.

“The endorsement by the Lagos State Government will add more value to the competition, which to me is a dream comes through to boost collaboration and performances of the young children in sports,” he said.

The ESCA Cup will feature more than 60 private schools in Lagos who will compete in Football, Basketball, Athletics, Chess, Scrabble, E-Sports and Swimming.

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