By Richard Animam
The lack of a good   nursery system in   Nigerian sports over the years led to a sharp drop  in the quality of talents, which has inadvertently led to a serious decline in sports in the country. Owing to this and other factors, Nigeria now occupies an unenviable position in continental and global  sports.

Nigerian sportsmen and women who have won international laurels of recent had to travel abroad to train with modern facilities. Here in Nigeria, only a select sport can boast of modern facilities and in some cases, these facilities have  been left to rot.

These days,  only  tales of past glories and how the inability of sports administrators or the dysfunctional system have led to the free fall of Nigerian sports at both local and international competitions are told.

These and many other reasons, according to Adeniyi  Ladega, CEO of Christus Sports International (CSI) are responsible for their decision to take the bull by the horn and go back to the grassroots.

“In the past while we were growing up, there used to be a football competition in Lagos for secondary schools called the Principal’s Cup. This competition due to its acceptance produced a lot of talents who went on to represent Nigeria at international football competitions. But the end came when some schools, in their bid to win all cost, started the use of mercenaries. This gave rise to negative apathy on the part of some people. Our generation stopped taking sports seriously. But all these, we intend to change with the Top Town Challenge”, Ladega said.

For two days, Saturday July 4th and Sunday 5th, 2009,  Anthony Village Sports ground will come alive as  the three-day community sports event tagged Top Town Challenge kicks off with a fitness walk with Governor Raji Fashola flagging off the walk.

“After the walk which starts at 7am, by 9am the main event which will feature four sports-Soccer, Basketball, Table Tennis and Sprint and Relays, starts.  The event will feature athletes from different age groups- U-10 and U-14. The old boys will also compete in the tennis event”, he said, adding,  “Some of the activities billed for Sunday are the Miss Top Town beauty pageant,  an awards night, family Tug of war and Most Outstanding Male hair style.”


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