Sports

INTERVIEW: My Goal Is To Rekindle Culture And Passion For Grassroot Sports Development In Surulere LGA- Segun David

In this interview, Segun David, the Senior Special Assistant on Sport to the Executive Chairman, of Surulere Local Government spoke about various issues concerning sports development in Surulere Local Government Area and the untapped sports industry.

He also shared plans to help unearth talents in the Surelere Local Government Area.

Excerpts…

What is your vision for sports in Surulere?

My vision is to give fresh ideas, propose and promote road maps for sport development, evaluation, management and improvement in Surulere Local Government. Push good initiatives to bring back the good old times and divert children, youths and communities attention from social vices and moral decadence. Reigniting a seemingly lost zeal for community and internalized sports competition in the famed sport city. Rediscovering local sport talents at a young age regardless of gender or disabilities. To encourage peace, unity and an enabling environment for ease of commerce through sport in Surulere Local Government and beyond.

Surulere Local Government Area is regarded as the hub of sports in Nigeria due to the fact that it has two major stadiums. But in recent times, not much has been heard about sporting activities in Surulere. What plans do you have to change this?

My plan is to rekindle the culture and passion for sport at the grassroot level. This can be done by improving on past sporting activities by creating the right atmosphere for sport development in our communities at various levels. Identifying potential locations or facilities. Promote and encourage diverse range of sports. Recruit and partner with qualified coaches and trainers who can impart techniques and guidance to the participants. Also, with my experience working as a Regional Scout with Sport Management Consultancy Limited, a UK Based Company, it becomes very easy for me to discover talents with the LGA.

Encourage participation of both genders, all ages and individuals with disabilities. Seek partnerships with local businesses, organizations and government agencies for financial and logistical support.

Sports is a major tool for youths’ development and empowerment. How do you intend to harness the potentials of the youths in the area through sporting activities?

Yes, we have a project called ‘LERE FUNATHON’ coming soon. It is a 10km road race and funfair event (combination of sport and entertainment). Another one is the ‘CHAIRMAN’S CUP’. This is going to be a football competition for only private and government primary schools in Surulere. We will be having local board games for artisans coming up to encourage traditional sports and to promote local culture. Surulere Sport Festival will be coming later in the year. Periodical fitness walk or exercise with Chairman, community and Surulere workers amongst others. Tournament and clinic for children, teenagers and youths of different categories.

The focus oftentimes has been on football. What other sports will you be giving attention to?

We will be giving attention to Basketball, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis, Athletics, Rugby, Board Games etcetera.

You seem to be passionate about sports. Do you have a plan of hosting a major sports competition in Surulere?

Definitely….

What kind of support do you have from the LG chairman as regards sports development in Surulere?

Listening ear and close attention to progressive ideas. His passion and commitments for sport is second to none and very encouraging. His open-door policy for access and operations. Quick response to work and solution to challenges.
Collaborating with private entities, Reaching out to other security and government agencies. Health and safety awareness and consciousness.

Apart from the Teslim Balogun and the National Stadium which belong to the State and Federal Government respectively, are there other recreational centres for sporting activities in the LGA?

Yes we have:
Femi Gbajabiamila Sport Complex, Sam Shonibare.
Paddington Football Field
Obele Oniwala Footbal Field
Razaq Balogun Football Field
Love Garden Football Field
Abalti Barracks Football Field
Small London Football Field

Sports Enthusiasts are of the opinion that one of the major impediments to sports development is a lack of adequate sports facilities and maintenance, especially in rural and sub-urban areas where raw talents abound. What plans do you have to address this?

I can proudly tell you that the worry about lack of adequate sport facilities in Surulere is gradually becoming a challenge of the past due to recent renovations and constructions of sport centers being facilitated by Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamilla and Hon. Suleiman Bamidele Yusuf. Apart from asking for more and identifying suitable locations and ensuring proper sport facilities and equipment are available for various sport activities, I believe we will focus and deal more on maintenance of the existing facilities.

Do you have any structure in place for discovering budding talents in Surulere LGA?

We will be going into partnership with reputable organizations that can help manage, market, promote and develop talents and sport activities in and outside Surulere. Hub in discovering and nurturing raw and refined talents.

So far, what is your assessment of sports development in Surulere?

Assessment of sport for us are in parts. In terms of infrastructure, so much has been done and put in place by Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the Executive Chairman, Hon. Suleiman Bamidele Yusuf. We’ve had very few activities because most facilities were being given facelifts all over Surulere. Right now most infracstructural projects are done and have been handed over to the CDA’s for operations and maintenance. Evaluation and planning of sport projects are going on so we can have structured sporting programs or legacies that can outlive us.

However, we believe there is a lot to be done. This is why we are opening our arms to private organizations, ex-internationals especially sons and daughters of Surulere, government agencies, community leaders, individuals and stakeholders for support in all forms to drive and renew the hope of the famed sport capital of Lagos and Nigeria.

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