By Innocent Anaba
The leadership of the Lagos State chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Lagos SWAN, has commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu over his continued support for sports and quality leadership.
Lagos SWAN Executive Committee, under the leadership of Debo Oshundun, applauded the latest announcement which saw the official hand over of a three-bedroom flat at the Babatunde Raji Fashola Housing Estate, Iponri, to the First Olympic Gold Medalist in Nigeria and in Africa, Chioma Ajunwa-Okpara, in fulfillment of a 25-year-old pledge by the then governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
The gesture, according to the association, will not only encourage others to strive for greatness, but is also a testimony of the labours of our heroes not being in vain.
“We wish to thank His Excellency for this noble gesture of honouring our heroes, and in the process, encouraging those coming behind.
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“Recently, he handed Patrick Pascal a key to his apartment for his exploits at the Atlanta ’96 games.
“Now, it is the turn of Chioma Ajunwa (Assistant Commissioner of Police) for being the first athlete to win Nigeria’s first individual gold medal at any Olympics.”
In a related development, a whooping sum of N20 million was also doled out to six Lagos elite athletes that would be representing Nigeria at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Jide Omotayo (Table Tennis), Seye Ogunlewe (Athletics), Ahmed Koleoso (Para table tennis), Adijat Olayori (Weightlifting), Anuoluwapo Olayori (Badminton) and Godwin Ofolu (Badminton) were all given money as training grants by the state as part of support for Team Nigeria as they intensify preparation for the games.
“The governor has demonstrated his belief in using sports as one of the tools for youth engagement and empowerment.
“It is also noted that Governor Sanwo-Olu gave Lagos SWAN a brand new 18-seater to aid the association in discharging its duty.
“The state contingent was also adjudged as the best kitted team at the 2020 Edo National Sports Festival.
“The training grants given to these athletes will go a long way in preparing them for the challenges in Tokyo,” Oshundun said.
At a brief ceremony held on Thursday in Alausa, Governor Sanwo-Olu also approved and handed a cheque of N146 million to the Lagos State Sports Commission.
The sum is in fulfillment of the state government’s promise to Team Lagos athletes to the 2020 National Sports Festival held in Benin, Edo State.
“We salute Mr Governor for being a shining light for other states on how to adopt policies, encourage and reward athletes, as well as focus on grassroots sports development.
“Lagos SWAN, on this day, felicitates the Governor on his 56th birthday celebration. The association wishes him sound health, long life and prosperity as he continues to steer the affairs of Lagos State.”