It was a busy day at the Navy Sailing Club, Ojo on Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary as the kids took to the waters to compete in the club’s traditional Independence Day/Commodore’s Boat Race which featured Canoeing, Kayak and Sailing.
In the Kayak Girls final Izilein Deborah defeated Nathaniel Christiana and Khadijat Giginya to emerge tops while Hassan Saleh outpaced Giginya Aminu and Kinigua Frederick to win the Boys category.
In the Women’s category, Kowei Vivian came tops after beating Folagbade Thankgod and Japhet Lilian.
Kayak Men saw Orugbami Moses, Alaba Matthew and Michael Moses finish first, second and third respectively.
There were also competitions in open swimming for all categories, including ages 4to8,10to15and12to17.
Club Commodore Tunde Giwa Daramola expressed joy at Nigeria attaining the ripe age of 61 despite the inherent socio-economic problems and concluded that it was worthy of celebration. “All we need do is to continue looking at the future with optimism,” he said, adding, “there is brighter hope for Nigeria.”.
The Club Commodore who was organising his first major event after his re-election in August at the Rock View Hotel, Apapa for a second term said the Independence Day/Commodore’s Race was a traditional fixture in the Club’s calendar, an event, he noted, had produced stars for Nigeria in Water Sports.
“If you want to compete in Los Angeles, Paris or Tokyo, you have to come here first. Anybody who wants to do anything in Water Sports, this is the place to be. We catch them young, groom them and states come here to poach our athletes.”
Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja who was the first Club Commodore of the club and chairman of the day expressed happiness with what the club he headed about 30 years ago had grown to become.
“It’s been very encouraging and I’m impressed with how the Club has been able to contribute to the development of Water Sports in Nigeria. Their ability to continue the legacy we left behind is commend- able. They should keep it up.