The Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Deji Tinubu, has said that the idea of organising the National Disability Games stemmed from the state’s government passion for people with disabilities.
A statement by the LSSC spokesperson, Titi Oshodi, said on Monday in Lagos that Tinubu, made the assertion at the end of a three-day stakeholders meeting on Saturday.
The statement said the meeting was called ahead of the Games scheduled for later in the year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was to work out a framework and modalities for the successful hosting of the Games.
The statement said that Tinubu, Special Adviser on Sports to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, added that the Games were also the conviction of Ambode’s administration that all citizens of Lagos State should be carried along.
“We want to create an enabling environment for persons with disabilities to showcase their talents.
“Gov. Ambode has directed that the Games be organised annually to show the world that Lagos State Government is committed to developing talents even among the physically challenged.
“I want all the stakeholders to put heads together and to come out with all inclusive plans for the Games.
“Organising this competition will allow the state to put in place necessary sporting facilities for the people with disabilities in Lagos State,’’ it quoted Tinubu as saying.
It noted that the Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Ayodele Agbesanwa, urged stakeholders to actualise the ambition of Gov. Ambode in making Lagos State the sports hub in Africa.
According to the statement, the commission will continue to work hard for the success of the Games.
It also said that Babatunde Fatayi-Williams, the President, Nigeria Swimming Federation (NSF), noted that the Games would bring the best out of the Nigerian disabled athletes.
The statement noted that Fatayi-Williams, who is also the Chairman, Technical Committee for the Games, said the purpose of the retreat was to deliberate on how best to organise a successful National Disability Games.
“Most of the stakeholders fully participated in the three days retreat and I must say that the retreat was a huge success because a lot of issues have been raised and tackled.
“We will also make recommendation to Lagos State Sports Commission and if our recommendation is approved, the better for the Games,’’ it said.
The statement said that the three days retreat afforded the committee the opportunity to visit some designated centres, adding that they were satisfied with the facilities.
“Lagos has the best facilities among all the states in Nigeria and I strongly believed that the Games will be better organised.
“The athletes will enjoy their stay throughout the competition in Lagos,’’ it said.
It added that Feyisetan Are, Technical Director, Amputee Football Federation, commended Ambode for sponsoring the Games which, he said, would bring thousands of disabled athletes together to compete for honour.
The Chairman, National Deaf Sports Association, Usman Nahuche, it noted, equally commended the state government for setting up the programme for people with disabilities.
The statement said that the Games would help in many ways and would also give life to the people living with disabilities.
He urged other state governments to emulate Lagos State’s trailblazing in sports development.
NAN reports that participants at the retreat included presidents, secretaries and technical directors of the various physically-challenged
They are para-soccer, powerlifting, para-athletics, wheelchair basketball, para table tennis, special sports (dwarf and blind), deaf sports,
Special Olympics (Down Syndrome) and the Paralympics Committee of Nigeria.
Also present were the directors, secretaries and the technical directors of the Lagos State Paralympics Committee and Lagos State Para Soccer Association.