By Kate Obodo
Prince WaleÂ Â Â Oladunjoye, SeniorÂ Â Special Assistant to Governor Fashola on Grassroots Sports, represented his boss at the recently held Top Town Challenge in Anthony Village. The event, with the intent of discovering talents from the community level, took off in a flying start last Saturday as residents of Anthony Village turned out en mass and competed in the soccer, table tennis, tennis and track and field events.
The Recreation Center at Anthony Village came alive, for two days residentsÂ throned the Center to compete and have fun and on Sunday, another dimension was added to the sporting event. There was the Top Town Challenge pegeant, Most outstanding hair style and music. It was a weekend Anthony residents would treasure for a long time to come.
Prince Oladunjoye lauded theÂ Challenge, stressing that Lagos state in keen on going back to the grassroots with the intension of sustaining the development of sports in the state.
In an interview with Prince Oladunjoye, he said, there are plans by the Lagos State government to complement the Top Town Challenge by provision of facilities and ensuring that people appreciate what the event is all about. “This is not all about competition, it is about having fun, discovering new talents and projecting our communities. In a way, it is meant to engage the youth and keep them off violence and other social vices. Lagos state Governor Raji Fashola is determined to ensure that the programme is held in all communities in Lagos State.
â€œ Governor Fashola is very keen about this project. Unlike similar projects in the past that came and disappeared, the Top Town Challenge is here to stay.
â€œWe have gone through various stages and the stage we are now is the community and family level. As we speak now, we are putting in place a structure at all local government areas where sports committees would be saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the LGAs and wardsÂ are constantly involved in one sporting activity or the other every week.
â€œAs for the Top Town Challenge, a total of 20 Housing Estates in Lagos will take part and talents discovered will be nurtured by a special arrangement which Lagos State government is working out. The arrangement will see a corporate body take up a talent and see that talent through â€, Prince Oladunjoye said.
According to him, the aim is to create empowermentÂ for the youngstars. “We have started something at the LOC level where all higher institutions in Lagos are going to be involved in sporting activities and we are working with the Vice chancellors, rectors and provosts of universities. We are stilling meeting and later in the year we willÂ fine turn modalities. We plan to go round all sports butÂ for now we are doing few sports.
Again due to the challenges we will be facing as par putting facilities in place, we intend to do what we call shared facilities. That is we look for a school which is centrally located and has these facilities and use the school as the venue ofÂ the event. We would assist and encourage such schools to maintain these facilities and we are also banking on the Local Government Authorities to help with the maintenance of these facilities”, he said.