Lagos Street Soccer: Fashola Promises Expansion Of Sporting Facilities
Apr 10, 2011 - The Season Four legacy Edition of the MTN Lagos State Street Soccer Championship took off Sunday at the Campos Square Mini-Stadium in Central Lagos with the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), pledging to continue the expansion of sporting facilities across the State to provide more opportunities for youths to participate in sports.
In his remarks shortly before declaring the event open, Governor Fashola said aside from the Campos Square Mini-Stadium, his administration has, since the commencement of the competition in 2008, completed the Elegbata Youth Development Centre and the Agege Stadium.
"When we started in 2008, we did not have this (Campos Mini-Stadium) facility, but today we have developed facilities and we now have partners working with us", Governor Fashola said pointing out that in the last three years, 450 teams had participated in the competition.
According to the Governor, "It means that every year, we have kept 4,500 young people busy, away from crime, developing their minds and developing their talents", adding that the competition was an opportunity for talent hunt, particularly in football.
Commending MTN for its continued sponsorship of the competition, Governor Fashola noted that the company has made the competition not only nationally accepted but internationally recognized.
Describing the competition as part of the branding of the State by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Governor declared, "The competition which we are here to kick off today started as a small idea driven by two big brands, the Lagos State Government brand operating on the banner of the very proud party, the Action Congress of Nigeria. Of course, the other brand is the MTN."
Wishing the participants a very rewarding competition, Governor Fashola urged them not to lose sight of the aim of the competition which, according to him, is to develop their talents and afford them the opportunity to realize their ambition of becoming stars, adding that in any competition, there must be winners and losers.
In his remarks, the Chief Marketing Officer of MTN, Mr. Bola Akingbade, said the company was sponsoring the Season Four Edition of the Competition "to connect the progressive youths of Nigeria with what they are passionate about, which is football, as a way of helping them to realize their aims of becoming stars".
According to Akingbade, who was represented at the occasion by the Senior Manager Regional Marketing Operation of the company, Mr. Lawrence Akharume "Since the inauguration of this competition in 2008, MTN has been at the forefront of its sponsorship because it provides us with an opportunity to fulfill our promise of affecting lives of youths through grassroots soccer."
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Prince Ademola Adeniji-Adele, said since the commencement of the competition over 4, 500 youths have been involved yearly adding that the teams have been to Brazil, Dubai and South Africa.
He described the participants as beneficiaries of the good governance in the State who should be prepared to serve as foot soldiers of the Action Congress of Nigeria, urging them to go out and vote for the party in the remaining elections. The Commissioner added that the continued governance of the State by the party would ensure the continued development of the competition for their benefit.