Lagos plans athletics classics for 50th anniversary

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A Lagos Anniversary Classic will hold on 12 July as part of activities lined up by Lagos State Sports Commission, LSSC, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the state.

Mr. Deji Tinubu, the Special Adviser on Sports to the Governor, who is also the chairman of the Sports Commission, said during the 2017 Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate the second anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja that the state will play host to the biggest athletics event in Africa as one of the several activities the Sports Commission put together to celebrate Lagos at 50.

According to Tinubu, who was former board member of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, the preparation to stage the competition, tagged Lagos Anniversary Classics, has since begun, adding that “the classic is scheduled for 12 July. Intense preparations have commenced with IAAF readiness assessment visits including technical meetings, stadium inspections and securing of star athletes.

Tinubu also disclosed that series of event to celebrate the golden jubilee of the state will commence on 16 May.

“We want to honour Lagos’ past sports heroes with football matches. There will be an exhibition match between Lagos State Executive Council members and the state House of Assembly and between past Principal’s Cup heroes over the years,” he said.

Tinubu also disclosed that many sporting events will be held between now and the end of the year among whom is Lagos International Classic in Squash, Table Tennis and Badminton, Lagos Cycling Criterium Season 2, while the state will start mentoring programme for selected elite athletes which will commence during the summer holidays.

Meanwhile, the Sports for Excellence in Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s T.H.E.S.E strategy for social development will take a new shape as the Governor begins his third year in office from 29 May, 2017.

T.H.E.S.E, which represents Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sports for Excellence, is the vision of Governor Ambode to transform Lagos State as one of the emerging mega cities of the world.

Tinubu said that while the responsibility of the Commission is to actualize the sports element of T.H.E.S.E strategy, effort will be geared towards meeting and exceeding Ambode’s objectives.

According to Tinubu, while there will be continuation of key 2016 objectives and strategy, “we will increase focus on developing school sports, more major competition involving more schools in activities and integrating public and private school sports.

“We will commence implementation of grassroots sports development programmes tagged Lagos Sports Connect to involve people across communities in the state. Construction of stadia in Epe, Ikorodu and Ajegunle.

Renovation of Onikan Stadium, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Rowe Park Sports Complex, Campos Square mini stadium, Amotu and Ijede sports centres, completion of Ifako Ijaiye Sports Centre and Isheri Sports Development Centres, while 10 sports divisions will be created towards achieving higher effectiveness in grassroots sports implementations,” he said.

Tinubu also revealed that the sports commission will commence a sports programme tagged LSSC TV on television to bring the commission closer to the people.

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