Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 18th National Sports Festival, Hon. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, is satisfied with the performance of Team Lagos so far even as Team Delta continues dominating events with 48 hours to end of competition.
Orelope-Adefulire, who also doubles as the deputy governor of the host Lagos State, insists that nothing will make the state deviate from the policy of investing more in sports development and nurturing talents from the grassroots.
"We are satisfied with the performance of our athletes at the ongoing Eko 2012 National Sports Festival. Even if we end up with the third position, that will not be a bad outing for us. In Lagos, we discover and train our athletes unlike others who rely on ready-made stars," observed the LOC boss midweek at the Games.
She was particularly excited that athletes and officials from the states and the Federal Capital Territory are happy with the facilities provided by Lagos for the 18th edition of the Games.
"We are living up to our image as the Centre of Excellence. We are organising a very goods show that everyone is happy with. Even though there were hitches at the beginning, we can beat our chest that we have done very well," enthused the deputy governor.
While agreeing with the Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, that Nigeria's preparations for the next Olympics should start with Eko 2012, Hon. Orelope-Adefulire said that athletes discovered at this festival should be managed properly to end the country's sorrow at global competitions.
"We are happy to join Delta and Rivers in the campaign to build a strong team for Nigeria in the future Olympic Games. Every state knows its area of specialisation and by participating in the festival is also an added advantage as everybody would have the opportunity to see the potentialities in these athletes. There are more Okochas, Odegbamis, Amokachis in this country. The festival is another breeding ground to discover more talents and working day and night to make everything work according to plans," she noted.
On the National Stadium in Surulere that appears to have been abandoned by the Federal Government, the deputy governor restates Lagos resolve to take over to halt the rot
"Since the stadium is in Lagos, we have been trying to move into the arena and give it a face-lift but the National Sports Commission (NSC) has not assisted us in that regard. If our taking over of the sports-city will turn around Nigeria's fortunes in sports, we are ready for it," stressed Hon. Orelope-Adefulire.
The LOC chairman commended volunteers who helped in the organisation of the festival, hinting that the state will keep a data on them for future considerations.