By IKENNA ASOMBA
The Proprietress, Pampers Private School, Surulere, Lagos, Mrs. Oludolapo Odunlami, has reiterated the need for government at various levels in the country to promote grassroots sports through adequate funding and other forms of encouragement.
Odunlanmi, who made this call at the 22nd Annual Inter- House Sports Competition of the school, held at the Sports Complex of the University of Lagos, Tuesday, said, the call became pertinent as the promotion of grassroots sports will help project and redeem the image of the country across international borders.
She said: “Today’s inter-house sports competition is highly interactive and competitive. We put up this 22nd edition in line with our resolve to develop the child in totality. It is to balance them so that they will be aware that life is not all about academics alone. There should be a balance between academics and sports. This platform also helps nurture the children to learn how to serve and contribute immensely to the growth and development of the nation.
“We strongly believe that what is important in life is the foundation and that is what we are giving them today. We are also doing this so that when they grow up in life, they will become useful to the country, not only in academics but in other social activities. No doubt, for the fact that grassroots sports of this nature help project and promote the image of the country across national and international borders, there is need for government at all levels to promote grassroots sports through adequate funding and getting involved in it.”
At the end of the mind-pulsating sporting competition, Yellow House also known as the Topaz retained the title which they won last year as winners in the match-past competition, beating Blue House (Sapphire), Green House (Emerald) and Red House (Ruby), which came first, second and third runners-up respectively. This is even as Blue House (Sapphire) toppled Red House (Ruby) as the overall winner for this year’s competition.
Also, sharing the same view with Odunlami was the chairman of the day, Mr. Alozie Chinakwe, who stated that grassroots sports help check juvenile delinquency in any given society, pointing out that when young people engage in sports, they certainly re-direct energies that would have been used for delinquent behaviours into useful purposes.
His words: “Inter-House sporting activities have and been very essential especially in the current reality of obesity. It’s very pertinent that our children are exposed to sports at this tender age, which is in line with building the body. Parents should encourage their children to engage in exercise, to keep them fit and in shape. This inter-house sports event is advantageous in so many ways. It creates healthy competition, sportsmanship and encourages friendship among our children. It encourages the winning spirit in them, check delinquent behaviours among young people thereby helping them redirect such energy into useful purposes, to improve self esteem.”
Meanwhile, the pupils coloured the day with competitive events such as match past, field and track events like picking the lego, 25 metres race, bursting the balloon, 50 metres race,100 metres race, 200 metres race, shuttle relay, 4×100 metres race, etc.