The two-day, non-contact Sports Competition tagged “Sports is Back” organised by the Lagos State Sports Commission commenced on Wednesday at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere Lagos with 106 Athletes competing in nine sports, namely Ayo, Chess, Darts, Monopoly and Scrabble (Board Games), Abula, Badminton, Squash and Table Tennis (Racket Sports).
Speaking at the flag-off of the COVID-19 compliant event, the Executive Chairman, Mr. Sola Aiyepeku disclosed that one of the major areas where the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the State is sports and he expressed joy that there is a gradual adjustment to the “New Normal”.
“We give thanks to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the gradual return of sporting activities in Nigeria. Also, we are thankful to our Sports loving Governor in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for approving that non-contact sports should return in Lagos in compliance with all the stipulated protocols for COVID-19”.
According to the Executive Chairman, the whole idea for the Invitational Open competition is to systematically bring Sports back to Lagos as it existed before the COVID-19 pandemic saying, “We need to continue to prove to the World that Lagos is among the leaders in sports organisation and development”.
In his remarks, the Director-General of the Sports Commission, Oluwatoyin Gafaar, admonished all participants and officials to be of good conduct throughout the two-day event, adding that they should exhibit the spirit of good sportsmanship.
On the need for strict adherence to COVID -19 protocols, the Director, Sports Medicine at the Commission, Dr. Kayode Micheal stated the need for all the competitors to follow all the stipulated guidelines spelt out in the information tags posted on the walls of the Games Venue and the brochure distributed to athletes.
While urging all athletes to display good conduct during the competition and adhere strictly to the rules by wearing face masks, washing their hands before and after each game and using hand sanitisers, Dr. Michael disclosed that it was mandatory for athletes playing Board Games – Ayo, Chess, Monopoly and Scrabble to wear face masks while Athletes in the Racket Game such as Badminton, Squash, Table Tennis are expected to use hand sanitisers and wash their hands at intervals.