By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
Labour Party Gubernatorial candidate in the forthcoming general election, Gbadebo Rhodes- Vivour has promised massive sports development in the state if voted into power in March this year.
He gave the assurance during an interactive session with Journalists organized by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Lagos Chapter.
Tagged, “Meet and Grill”with Lagos State- Gubernatorial candidates with the theme, ‘Youths and Sports Development’ in Lagos State, held at the association’s Secretariat, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, he expressed concerns that many talented youth are not encouraged to take to sports which has led to a lot of crimes in the society, vowing to change the narratives if voted into power.
“It’s of great concern that many youths are rooming the streets of Lagos causing one havoc or the other. These youths when engaged meaningfully in sports and other skills will not only be busy and self employed but will think less of crime and that’s what my government will bring once we come on board,” he said.
He further explained that upgrading of sporting facilities in all the Divisions of the state will be vigorously pursued while attention will be paid to grassroots development of sports even as he stated that his government will engage the private sector in ensuring proper development of the sector.
” In order to ensure proper sports development, upgrade of facilities will be taken seriously because most of our sporting facilities are moribund and in state of disrepair.
” We shall also engage the private sector in sports development because sports is a big business while we intend to reintroduce inter school sporting events.
Rhodes- Vivour further explained that every Local Government Area of the state will have a specialized sports programme to enable them produce champions in areas they have comparative advantage.
” What we intend to do is to make every Local Government Area of the state have specialized sporting programme. A place like Mushin will concentrate in boxing, Epe and Ikorodu will focus on swimming while Surulere will focus on such sports as tennis, athletics which will create a platform for athletes to excel,” he added.
According to him, his government will also pay special attention to sports men and women with disability while all sports people will be adequately enumerated just as he promised that with him in charge of government, the state will no longer play second fiddle at the National Sports Festival.
Earlier in her welcome address, chairperson of Lagos State Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Olatutu Oladunni said the essence of having the interactive session was in keeping with the tradition of the association to always invite gubernatorial candidates of the state to explain to Lagosians how they intend to turn around sports in the state when they come to power.
High point of the event was the presentation of the association’s branded t-shirt and cap to the gubernatorial candidate.