Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday reiterated his administration’s commitment to develop grassroot sports in the State, just as he assured that sports in general will get adequate attention in the next four years of his administration.
The Governor who gave the commitment at the finals and closing ceremony of the 2nd Lagos International Badminton Classics, which took place at the Row Park Sports Centre, Yaba, said the state government will improve grassroot sports association as a means to ensure that it becomes a veritable tool for employment.
He said his administration will continue to sponsor the International Badminton Classics, assuring that the gains recorded by past administrations the state will be improved upon.
“I want to also commit that the next four years Lagos state will continue to sponsor this particular international tournament, in addition to other sports that the Lagos State Government has been sponsoring, we are excited that the past administrations have always focused on sports development. One of the things I had promised Lagosians is that we would continue in the path of past administrations to take sports to the next level”, the Governor said.
He said efforts will be made to expand the next edition to enable more countries participate while the prize money will also be increased.
“Our administration is committed and we are signing on with other sports lovers and sponsors, that the next edition is better than this. My understanding is that we have over 24 nations here present in this tournament and I know next year, we are going to expand it and then we would also increase the prize money and also ensure that the best of Badminton comes to Lagos”, he said.
The Governor also said that his administration will focus on sports, tourism, entertainment, arts and hospitality sector as a single project to engage youths so as to keep them away from social vices.
“What I’ve earlier promised in the course of the campaign is that we are going to take sports in addition to tourism, entertainment and arts and hospitality, we would take them together and actually focus on them as one single project”.
”We on our side in Lagos state have also decided to establish the Lagos State Sports Commission in line with the National Sports Commission. So, in essence, all sports associations, we would give them the necessary support that they need”, he said.
Some of the dignitaries present at the event include the Director General, National Sports Commission, Alhaji Alhassan Yakmut, Vice President, Badminton Federation of Nigeria and Chairman, Lagos State Badminton Association, Barrister Francis Orbih, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Sports, Mr. Oluseyi Whenu and other sports enthusiasts.