By Lamidi Bamidele
It was encomiums galore at the closing ceremony of Ilaji Resort/NIPSN Sports Championship for Chief Dotun Sanusi, the Chairman of Ilaji Sports Resort, by the winners of various categories of events who went home with cash prizes of American dollar currency.
Ilaji Resort/NIPSN Sports Championship, the first-ever disability championship to be organized in Oyo State, which began on Tuesday and ended on Thursday, was the brainchild of Network for Inclusion of People With Special Needs (NIPSN) and solely financed by Chief Dotun Sanusi, a sports enthusiast and philanthropic per excellence.
The athletes who suffered from one form of disability or another lauded Chief Sanusi for “motivating and being a source of hope for them”.
During the presentation of cash prizes to the athletes by Oyo State’s Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Hon. Seun Fakorede, the physically challenged athletes expressed their readiness and determination to use the motivation gotten from the 3-day championship to put their respective careers back on track.
While delivering his opening remarks, Hon. Fakorede, declared that had Coronavirus pandemic not broke out earlier this year, Oyo State government would have organised a competition of this nature.
He thus maintained that Seyi Makinde-led government is fine-tuning plans to organize a statewide sport for the youths in Oyo State.
The commissioner who lauded Chief Sanusi for his consistent efforts geared towards socio-economic development of Oyo State urged the people of the state not to relent on the support which they have been giving to the Seyi-Makinde led government from his inception.
Addressing the newsmen after the event, Chief Sanusi expressed his delight for putting smiles into the faces of the special athletes adding that it is part of his own way giving back to the society.
In his words; “Looking at these people one cannot help but thank God for His grace over us. But looking at these people (physically challenged), you will always see the greatness of God in them too.
What these people do, in terms of their huge potentials, scaling the hurdles of their challenges to bring forth their talents that are now beneficial to all and sundry is something that amazes me and will never fail to lend my supports to an exercise of this nature”, Chief Sanusi concluded.
The prizes given to the athletes by Chief Sanusi ranges from two hundred to hundred dollars depending on the position won.
Among the events competed for during the 3-day event include; Blind football, para-lifting, sack race, Wheelchair race, Go ball.
Among the dignitaries that attended the event were, Hon. Kazeem Bolarinwa, Special Adviser to the Governor Seyi Makinde on Youths and Sports, Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi, former Special Adviser and Executive Assistant to Governor Adebayo Akala.