As part of efforts to encourage grassroots sports development in the region, the maiden South-West Secondary School Sports Festival tagged DAWN Games will be hosted by the Lagos State Government in May 2014.
This was revealed at the end of the three-day meeting held in Lagos and attended by stakeholders from the six South West states, National Sports Commission (NSC) and Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) among others.
In a statement by the Public Relations Officer (PRO, Lagos State Sports Council, Bashir Agunloye, DAWN, is an acronym for Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, brings together the government of the six states of South West Nigeria – Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun and Lagos, in a concerted strategic developmental process geared towards social, economic and regional integration and sports is one of the tools being deployed to actualise the agenda.
The DAWN Games are expected to create a forum for youths in the region to harness their sporting talents while also encouraging mass participation in sports at the grassroots level.
Speaking at the event, the Director-General, DAWN Commission, Dipo Famakinwa emphasised the role of sports in the DAWN agenda and assured all of the commitment of the DAWN Commission to work for the success and sustainability of the games.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Enitan Oshodi stated the commitment of the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola to hosting a very successful maiden edition of the Games.
“Governor Fashola believes that development of Sports at the grassroots is a major way of taking our youths off the streets”, Oshodi said.
The maiden edition which will hold from 16 to 24 May, 2014, and it will involve athletes in junior secondary schools, (JSS) and senior secondary schools (SSS) in the South-West states and will feature 12 sports -athletics, badminton, basketball, chess, football, gymnastics, scrabble, swimming, table tennis, tennis, taekwondo and volleyball.
Meanwhile the meeting also considered and ratified the rules and regulations for the games, the code of conduct for athletes and officials, the timelines and various other matters bordering on the hosting of a successful games.
The stakeholders, however, lauded the Lagos State Government and Governor Babatunde Fashola in particular, for taking up the hosting of the maiden edition of the DAWN Games.