Athletes at the two-day non-contact sports open competitions organised by the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) have commended the organizers for the initiative, describing the event as life-resuscitating for sports people.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the competitions ending on Thursday at theslim BaTelogun Stadium, Surulere, is tagged, “Sports is Back” began on Wednesday with 106 athletes participating in nine different games.
The Public Affairs Director of the commission, Mrs Titi Oshod-Eke, had earlier said that the tournament was to demonstrate the rebirth of Sports in Lagos after the COVID-19 lockdown to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
According to her, the sports competed in include: Badminton, Squash, Table Tennis, Dart, Abula, Ayo, Scrabble, Chess and Monopoly by athletes in Lagos State.
“We all need sports to survive, not only in Lagos or Nigeria, but all over the world. We observed all COVID-19 protocols as approved by the Presidential Task.
“We will also demonstrate how to manage sports, post-COVID-19 to other states of the federation. We want to show that Lagos is always ready when talking about sports,” she said.
A Chess player, Yemi Osundinake, who had represented Lagos State at the National Sports Festival twice, said she was glad to return to competition after about six months, stressing that the event was a life resuscitating.
“I feel alive in this event. Before now, I played at home, but I don’t feel competing. This event is a great initiative and it is commendable. It shows that there is hope to go back to our normal sporting activities,”she said.
For Effiong Bassey, a Scribble player, he was glad for the event as COVID-19 pandemic had affected and prevented him from participating in serious championship.
Bassey said he was involved in online international scrabble championship to keep himself busy during lockdown, noting the need for regular games to meet up with international standard.
“We need to play constantly. I have observed lapses in my games in the last two days due to no regular games. With this event, I assured the state of medals at National Sports Festival in Edo. I hope the event will still hold,“ he said.
An Ayo traditional game player, Sarah Oludare, said the two-day event was a welcome development for sports development in Lagos and Nigeria, stressing that more of such events should take place to encourage athletes.
“I see this event as bringing sports people back together after a long time of separation. The measure put in place for safety against COVID-19 is good.
“There is a bottle of sanitizer on each desk. We sanitize our hands every minute we play,” she said.
For 14-year-old JSS-II students, Zainab Yahaya and Chibuzor Nwankeze, who play Monopoly, they were happy to be invited to the event, stressing that the games had given them opportunities to compete after a long period.
Augustine Emmanuel, a Table Tennis player, said that during the lockdown, he played with friends, but was glad to be part of the two days event where he participated and qualified for mixed doubles game. (NAN)