Sports administration has gone beyond the rhetorics of the old-fashioned which has characterized the system in Nigeria and this invariably has made the country lag behind when the results are not commensurate with the inputs.
In Lagos, however, things are being done differently over time,and most importantly since the administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu who ensures that round pegs are put in round holes at the helms of affairs at the Lagos State Sports Commission.
The duo of Mr. Sola Aiyepeku, the Executive Chairman and Mr. Oluwatoyin Gafaar, the Director General in the Sports Commission are goal-getters who are technocrats in the administration of sports in Nigeria.
There has been synergy between the Sports Commission and other stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors in order to drive the THEMES agenda of Governor Sanwo-Olu.
Chairman Aiyepeku gave an insight into how sports is being run in the Centre of Excellence on Wednesday when he was the guest of over 300 journalists covering the ongoing 7th National Youth Games in Asaba, Delta State.
Interestingly, the Youth Games has witnessed a high influx of sporting media since its inception at the Asaba 2023.
Aiyepeku told the journalists that he was ready for any jab of questions from the sportswriters, as he knows his onions when it comes to facing the inquisitiveness of sporting media as he was once a media practitioner.
The session at the media centre of the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba was very entertaining, informative and educative as some of the journalists later confessed to Independent News Express how they have learnt a lot from the session.
Aiyepeku took time to inform how sports are being managed in Lagos State. According to him, the administration is devoid of old-fashioned style.
He noted that as an administrator who had seen it all in the world of sports and travelled far and near, he knows that modern ways of doing things bring results.
He disclosed how the Sports Commission engaged and tutored during a workshop over 400 gamemasters and mistresses across the education districts in Lagos State in the modern system of school sports.
“It was a kind of revolution because we exposed them to the best practices in sports. We not only equipped them to discharge their duties while in active service but empowered their knowledge for them to be useful to the society and their families after service,” Aiyepeku said.
He also revealed what the state has been doing to ensure that no sports is left behind.
“We focus more on development which in essence is to give everyone that sense of belonging. We have also been able to segmentalise and categorise these sports in order for us to place premium attention on performances.
“We are not desperate to win like other states are doing but for development programme. For us in Lagos State Sports Commission, we are not desperate because we see this youth games as a talent hunt programme,” he said.
The athletes’ development is also given priority by the Commission as many of the state athletes are enjoying one form of grant or the other for them to prepare and attend tournaments stress-free.
Aiyepeku insisted that Lagos has been a breeding ground for athletes and would continue to be in the vanguard of ensuring that athletes are given all-around development.