By James Agberebi:
In a bid to unearth hidden talents, the Lagos State Sports Commission in conjuction with Royal Science, Smartcab and Sunar Premium Waters will be organising the first edition of the Eko Schools Athletics Dash for secondary schools.
This was announced on Tuesday at a media briefing inside the Sport Bar, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
The Eko Schools Athletics Dash which will be held from May 15 to 19, 2017, is expected to attract about 40 secondary schools with participating students from Senior Secondary School One to Senior Secondary School Three and within the ages 14 to 17 years.
The events to be competed for by the students include: 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres and relays with the sum of N12 million worth of University scholarship sponsorship for six outstanding students.
Director General of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Adewunmi Ogunsanya, he praised the sponsors for coming up with the idea of organising such an event which will help to groom young talents.
"The Eko Schools Athletics Dash is very important to us because any nation that is planning of growth, must take strong cognisance of its youths. So what we plan to do is taking it where we are supposed to take it from," Ogunsanya said.
"All over the world, school athletics programme have one of the biggest sports programmes you can think of. Going in this direction therefore for Lagos State is an aspiration that is coming to reality. It's an inspiration that we are very delighted to have. Royal Science coming to support in this regard is also a very welcome development. We welcome such initiative and partnership. We hope that from time to time other initiatives of this nature will be coming on board.
"We acknowledge the fact that during this recession, a body that still aspires to partnering with state government, with a commitment of about N12 million, deserves all the praises.
"I would want to call on Smart Cab and Sunar Waters not to make this the first and the last. We can still make do with as many as possible in terms of partnership and sponsorship and I wish everyone involve in this event the best of luck."
Head of Operations, Royal Science Limited, Joseph Patrick, said: "We decided be a part of this event because looking at the vices affecting the young people in this generation, looked at the level of corruption and we looked for a way to bring back positivity to the society.
"At the same time, we looked at nurturing young talents in terms of athletics. We looked at grooming people so that their talent don't go to waste. So that is why we went to the Lagos State government to put this together."