By Okechukwu Emmanuel
Over 700 athletes drawn from across Lagos are participating in this year’s Ilupeju Township Games (ITG).
The founder of the competition, Chief Korede Bisade-Philips has confirmed that the athletes who qualified from the five divisions of the state are competing in football, basketball, table tennis, para-soccer, javelin, para-powerlifting, handball, volleyball, track, and field (100m, 200m, 400m), relay, long jump, and marathon to emerge winners.
Speaking with Sports 247 at the flag-off of the Games at the Basketball Court, Industrial Avenue, Ilupeju Estate, Bisade-Philips, who is the Onipeju of Ilupeju said youths, during the qualifying stages in Ikeja Badagry, Lagos Island, Epe, and Ikorodu divisions all exhibited skills that could be equated to professionals.
He said, “We have many talents in the grassroots. When I went round to watch their qualifiers, it looked as if I was watching professional games because they are very good at the various sports”.
While still speaking with Sports 247, Bisade-Philips continued by commending the impact of the coaches on the athletes, as well as trying to organise a training course for the young players so as to improve their skills.
“Their coaches are doing a great job. We are even thinking of a situation next year where we organise a training course for these young players so that they can improve on their skills. In no time, you will see our grassroots players that can compete with professionals even with international players”.
He said COVID-19 protocols are being followed strictly, adding that there are medical practitioners on the ground so as to ensure the athletes and players are coronavirus-free.
The Divisional Coordinator of the Games, Kehinde Owolabi while speaking with Sports 247 said that they expect players from the five divisions to showcase the talents they have, admitting that they were impressed by the athletes and players. He also added that the organisers will use this completion to discover talents as well as great potentials who will represent the country.
” We are expecting athletes and players from the five divisions to showcase their talents because, with the results we got from the qualifying stage, they really impressed us. We are going to be discovering athletes that will be representing the country through ITG.
Through the ITG, we have been discovering talents for the nation. For those with super talents, after the games, we will continue to train them to achieve their potential”.
The Ilupeju Township Games (ITF) which began on November 23rd will end on November 28th.
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