Ahead of their participation at the 19th National Sports Festival holding in Abuja from December 6th to 16th, Team Lagos athletes have been admonished to show high level of discipline on and off the pitch.
Addressing the athletes and officials of Team Lagos currently camping at the Bishop Howells Memorial Grammar School, Bariga, Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr.Kweku Adedayo Tandoh enjoined them to exhibit the tradition of excellence which the state is known for while competing at the games.
“Our message to the athletes is for them to be focused and remember that they are representing Lagos state, the Centre of Excellence, therefore we will expect them to show high level of discipline on and off the pitch.
“We will not tolerate any form of indiscipline from our athletes and from what we have seen so far we believe that we will represent Lagos in the best tradition of the state, ” Tandoh said.
The Sports Commission boss who visited to see how the athletes are faring at the closed camp assured the athletes of the state government’s commitment to their welfare as they represent Lagos state at the festival.
Tandoh stated: “We came to see the athletes in camp to ensure that everything is going on well in terms of their welfare. You will recall that the Governor of Lagos state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode promised that the welfare of the athletes to the festival will be paramount and you can see from the facilities that we have provided for the closed camping are quite comfortable. I came in here to check the facilities and interact with the athletes, talk to them and encourage them and give them the Governor’s message”.
While expressing optimism that the athletes will do well at the games, Dr. Tandoh announced that there will be instant rewards for athletes to encourage and motivate them.
“We expect our athletes to put in their best performance. I know that in terms of improvement and performances, we are going to get a lot of them in various sports because they’ve been working very hard over the last 18 months or thereabout specifically toward the National Sports Festival. So, we are going to get a lot of improve performances and I’m sure many of those performances will translate into podium finishes as well.
“We will be having instant rewards for the athletes for gold, silver and bronze medals, as a sign of encouragement for them and we will be doing this for all sports irrespective of the numbers of medals that we get, ” Tandoh added.
Speaking on behalf of the athletes, Solademi Oluwatosin, a badminton player and secretary to the overall captain thanked the Lagos state government for ensuring that Team Lagos athletes prepare adequately for the festival in Abuja, while promising that they will not disappoint the state.
“We are grateful to our amiable Govermor Akinwunmi Ambode for supporting the state athletes and also appreciate our indefatigable chairman, Dr Kweku Tandoh and the entire management of the Lagos State Sports Commission for their commitment to ensure that we achieve excellence results at the National Sports Festival. We all know that the forthcoming festival is not what every state prepare for but I can assure you that from the Lagos state athletes, we are coming out best. We are happy and delighted to represent Lagos state. All the athletes are proud to represent Lagos and we will surely bring glory and honour to the state, ” Oluwatosin said.
Lagos will be represented by 442 athletes competing in 31 sports. The athletes will depart Lagos for Abuja on Tuesday morning.