By Ademola Aderemi
For sports-loving residents of Ikorodu, a sprawling division in Lagos with scores of communities, it is a time to be happy. Recently, a firm, Top Professional Solutions (TPS), began the construction of a sporting facility in the sprawling Adamo community in Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area (LCDA), bringing smiles to the faces of residents.
The TPS Arena is located along the Itoikin/Ijebu-Ode Road, besides Oando Filling Station in Adamo, Ikorodu. Residents of the area as well as the promoters of the facility believe that the sporting arena has the capacity to take care of the yearnings of youths with passion for sports in the area and even beyond.
Chairman/CEO of the facility, Mr. Femi Tony Oriyomi, said he had for long nurtured the dream to create such an environment where youths would have the opportunity for thorough, all-round development in sports. He said the sports arena, to him, was a dream come true.
“TPS Sporting Arena is a multimillion-naira project that is designed to cater to the sporting needs of the people. It is also designed to create an avenue for genuine talents discovery.
“Many young men and women that have, for long, been wasting away their talents by involving themselves in crime now have a place to hone their skills and become good ambassadors of this great nation,” he said.
He explained that the project would have various facilities like football field, boxing ring, hockey field, taekwondo court, basketball court, gymnasium and other indoor games like table tennis or snookers.
He said the management was also considering accommodating some reputable banks and eateries within the facility.
“We have enough land that will accommodate hotels and resorts for recreation purposes and we are working seriously on other options,” he saod.
Expressing his desire to transform the sports arena to a world standard facility, Oriyomi, an accomplished accountant and lawyer, said he had for a very long time looked for an opportunity to improve the lives of the people at the grassroots, saying the sports facility was his own way of giving back to society.
“God has blessed me and I think it is really good for me to give back to society by making them happy in my own little way. I am always happy when I hear stories of Nigerians doing well across the world in different sports. I also feel sad whenever I see talents wasting away. I think one of the biggest challenges in Nigeria today is seeing talents that are wasting away. There are many of our young talents in all areas of sports that are unable to showcase their God-given talents.
“The Anthony Joshuas, Lionel Messis and Cristiano Ronaldos of this world became what they are today because they were in environments that identified their talents and were also ready to translate those talents to something the whole world could see and celebrate. This is our dream at the TPS Arena. We want to explore the world of sports by identifying, training and building formidable future talents in all areas of sports.”
His wife, Mrs. Favour Oriyomi, who corroborated her husband’s words, said the reason for the initiative was to fulfil the wonderful work of God through the people by building talents and enhancing natural skills.
“It is an opportunity to return all the glory to God and also to encourage sports loving people of Ikorodu and its environs. People are always looking for a place to unwind; a place to relax and explore their natural talents. It is in our plan to build state of the art sporting facilities in the arena.
“We want to also draw the attention of sports-loving people to Ikorodu. We have people of great knowledge, especially in all areas of sports, involved in the management of this facility. Some of them are consultants and a few of them are also professionals in their respective areas of specialisation. So, we are good to go,” she said.
A member of the organisation’s management team, Mr. Lateef Adeola Bakare, expressed delight at the ongoing project, explaining that there were plans to sustain the multimillion-naira project.
He stated that the TPS management had also perfected all arrangements in ensuring effective security for visitors.
“We have been working seriously in ensuring that this project is surely completed in due time. You can see that construction work is still ongoing. Though it is a private initiative, we are not ruling out any partnership with government or any other agencies, but, clearly, it must be driven by a clear objective and approach that will be beneficial to the people of this community,” he said.
Sports consultant, Mr. Olamilekan Oduala, said, with the passion and zeal that have been put into the project, the facility promises to be the best in Lagos State.
He said the management had done a good job by first embarking on strong awareness strategy, which, according to him, will enhance the development plan. Part of the strategies, he said, was an annual TPS football championship within Ikorodu Division where football teams from within and outside the locality play in a week-long tournament.
“The maiden edition of TPS Champion’s Cup started in January. It will be an annual championship that will boost the chances of participating teams. We have among us a registered referee that has been plying his trade in the Nigerian Professional League. We have football enthusiasts and many other sports-loving people around. So, for me, it was one initiative that has come to stay and we are ready to give it all it takes to bring TPS sports Arena to global reckoning,” he said.