The first Southwest Athletics Secondary Schools Invitational and Relays will hold between November 11 and 13, 2021 at the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos.
This was announced as part of the resolutions reached after the two-day meeting of the executive board of the South West Athletics which held over the weekend in Lagos.
The athletics meeting will be the first in the series of programme of activities released by the governing body for track and field in the Southwest zone affiliated to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.
In the communique released after the meeting, the secondary schools invitational and relays will be preceded by a seminar on doping for elite athletes from the zone and certified coaches.
The Southwest Athletics is also mapping out plans for an inclusive all secondary schools athletics competition that will be held in all the 18 senatorial zones in the six states that make up the zone namely Lagos Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti.
The competition will have the senators representing all the 18 senatorial zones fully involved as part of their constituency projects.
The association has also set up a committee headed by Professor Olatunde Makanju, chairman of Osun state athletics association to interface with various institutions in Nigeria and abroad with a view to creating scholarship opportunities for talents discovered during its competitions.
An Athletics Academy will also be set up to ensure talents discovered are monitored and nurtured to become elite athletes capable of representing Nigeria at international competitions including the Olympic Games.
The Southwest Athletics congratulated the Youth and Sports Development Minister, Sunday Dare for creating the enabling environment for the growth of track and field in Nigeria.
The association also formally congratulated the chairman of Lagos State Athletics Association, Dr Solomon Dayo Alao on his election as the representative of the zone on the board of the AFN.
AFN president, Tonobock Okowa was also hailed for leading Nigerian track and field back to the podium at the Olympics for the first time since 2008 and for leading the U20 team to its best ever performance in the history of the World U-20 Athletics Championships.
Sprinter Enoch Adegoke who returned Nigeria to the final of the 100m at the Olympics since 1996 and sprint hurdler Tobiloba Amusan who made history with her Wanda Diamond League victory in Zurich were also hailed for being worthy ambassadors of the zone.
SOUTHWEST ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
COMMUNIQUE OF THE SOUTHWEST ATHLETICS MEETING HELD AT THE CONFERENCE ROOM OF CIDL GROUP HEADQUATERS, ANTHONY VILLAGE, LAGOS ON FRIDAY 17 AND SATURDAY 18 SEPTEMBER, 2021
The Southwest Athletics is an association of all state athletics chairmen in the six states that make up the geo-political zone namely Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti as well as executive committee member(s) of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria who is not the chairman of his state athletics association and other key stakeholders in the state.
The Southwmest Athletics meeting was convened to review the current situation of track and field in the South West zone and come up with plans to move the sport forward.
The association congratulated the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare for superintending over Nigeria’s best performance at the Olympics in 13 years and Nigeria’s best ever performance at the World U20 Athletics Championships.
The association also formally congratulated Dr Solomon Alao following his election as the South West representative on the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.
The association praised the efforts of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria President, Tonobock Okowa and his board for Nigeria’s return to the podium at the Olympics after 13 years and achieving Nigeria’s best ever performance in the history of Nigeria’s participation in the World U20 Athletics Championships.
The association specially praised sprinter Enoch Adegoke and sprint hurdler Tobiloba Amusan for flying high the flag of the zone at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Wanda Diamond League Final in Zurich, Switzerland.
The association reviewed the state of athletics in the zone and resolved as follows:
A) Establish a grassroot competition involving Secondary and Tertiary School students across all the 18 senatorial zones with the senator representing each of the senatorial zones playing a key role in the sponsorship of the competition as part of his constituency projects.
B) Organise an invitational schools competition tagged “Southwest Secondary Schools Invitational and Relays’ to be held between 11th and 13th November, 2021 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
C) Organise a doping seminar for elite athletes/coaches in the South West zone on the dangers of doping in track and field. This is a direct fallout from the unfortunte occurrence at the Tokyo Olympics which saw 10 Nigerian athletes declared ineligible for not completing the three mandatory out of competition tests and the provisional suspension of Blessing Okagbare following a substance abuse. The doping seminar will hold on Thursday 11th of November, 2021 in Lagos.
D) Identify talents through various schools competitions and create scholarship opportunities for them within Universities in Nigeria and abroad. As a follow up to this, the association set up a committee headed by Professor Tunde Makanju to partner with higher institutions within and outside the country to attract scholarship opportunities for our exceptional school athletes.
E) Set plan towards establishing a Southwest athletics academy for talented school athletes in the zone discovered during the secondary school competitions.
F) To involve legends of the sport from the South West zone in the administration and promotion of the sport of track and field throughout the six states that make up the zone
To kickstart the activities of the association, three committees were set up viz:
This will be headed by World and Olympic Long Jump finalist and reigning Nigeria record holder in the horizontal event, Yusuf Alli who is also the vice-chairman of Lagos Athletics Association.
This will be headed by veteran journalist Oludare Esan who has covered athletics from the grassroot to World and Olympic levels.
This will be headed by the chairperson of the association chief Falilat Ogunkoya who won two medals at the 1996 Olympics, holds the African record in the 400m event and was crowned the best quartermiler in the world in 1998.
This will be headed by renowned marketer, Femi Abioye who has been involved with the sport of track and field since the 1990s.
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