As competitions in the National Youth Games in Ilorin begin on Monday, the Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Kweku Tandoh, on Monday assured Lagosians that the state’s 158 athletes for the event would excel.
Tandoh gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while speaking on the expectations from its young athletes.
NAN reports that the Games was opened on Saturday Sept. 8, while the competitions proper began on Monday.
The 4th National Youth Games, a 10-day festival will feature 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to the Director Grassroots Sports Development, Dr Demola Are, 32 states will be taking part in 33 sports during the 10-day event.
The LSSC boss, Tandoh said that the state would provide strong presence in all 25 sports it would compete in.
The 158 strong contingent were chosen from about 300 athletes that were initially in camp who will compete in 25 sports.
“We are in Ilorin with 158 strong athletes for the National Youth Games and we will be competing in 25 games. We expect great performances from all our athletes.
“They are well motivated and well trained during camping; we will like to win the Games but not at all cost, the athletes that we are presenting are from our closed camping.
“We can say with all confidence that they are within the age limit and no mercenaries is among them. We are the pace setter when it comes to grassroots sports development.
“Our players are those that we have confidence in; we can track them because we have their records in our database,’’ he said.
Tandoh said that Team Lagos would participate in sports in which it had strength, adding that the young sportsmen were adequately motivated.
“We are participating in 25 sports namely: Team sports, basketball (female), Beach ball, (male and female), Football (Male), Handball (Male and Female).
“For individual sports, we will be participating in: Athletics, Weightlifting, Cycling, Chess, Gymnastics, Scrabble and Swimming.
“For combative sports: Boxing, Karate, Judo, Taekwondo, Wrestling and Wushu Kung Fu. For racket sports: Badminton, Squash, Tennis and Table Tennis.
“In Para sports we have, Para Athletics, Para Powerlifting, Para Table Tennis and Traditional Sports — Ayo and Kokowa (Boys and Girls).
“Lagos is known for grassroots development and we are ready to go and showcase our real talents,’’ he said.