The Caretaker Chairman of Ona-Ara Local Government, Hon. Biliaminu Ogundele has assured sports loving Nigerians that the aim of the maiden Ona-Ara Sports Festival scheduled to kick-off on Saturday is to produce future potential Olympics medalists and future football stars for the country.
Speaking at the media briefing heralding the official opening and commissioning of Ilaji Stadium and Resorts Center, venue of the sports festival, Hon Ogundele said the mission of the sports festival which is a partnership with management of Ilaji Stadium and Resorts Centre and the Ona-Ara Local Government, is to create an avenue where youth in the area can engage international standard sport which can lead them away from anti social activities.
“The mission of the sporting festival is to provide an avenue where youths will be engaged in international standard sport programmes where attention is redirected from anti social activities to sports thereby promoting peace and unity in the society. It is also to make our youths more responsible and awake to their roles as future leaders.
“Sports have the tendency to unify our people and this, we intend to achieve through Ona-Ara Sports Festival. We intend to discover talents like Usain Bolts of this world, the Williams sisters and even our own soccer legends like Kanu Nwankwo, Rashidi Yekini of blessed memory who will become potential Olympic medalists and future football stars,” Hon. Ogundele said.
Speaking further, Hon Ogundele said the Local Government is following the Public, Private Partnership initiatives of Governor Abiola Ajimobi by partnering with Engineer Dotun Sanusi, the owner of Ilaji Stadium and Resorts Center to develop youth and sports in Nigeria in general and Ona-Ara Local Government in particular.
“May I crave your indulgence once more to state that the partnership between the public and private sectors being witnessed in this arrangement is a product of specific and unambiguous directive of His Excellency, Senator Abiola Ajimobi to local government councils to partner with the private sector be it individual or corporate for the purpose of participatory governance that is capable of eventually yielding benefits for the people,” he said.
He, however, called on public spirited, especially sons and daughters of the local government to emulate the ingenuity, creativity and philanthropic gesture of Engr. Sanusi, the owner of the sporting complex to bring development to the council.
Also speaking at the media parley, the Coordinator, Ilaji Stadium and Resorts Centre, Babatunde Olaniyi informed that the sports festival which will run from March 6th, 2018 to March 23rd, 2018 was launched with the purpose of creating an event that will encourage communal unity as well as youth development.
Olaniyi, who was a Special Assistant to the Oyo State Governor on Broadcast Media stressed that the concept was to use the multi-sports festival to discover and develop talents and also to bring the best from the community out onto the limelights.
“One of the objectives is to use the sporting complex as an avenue through which people can recreate and as a means of “escape route” from the hustle and bustle of the state capital, Ibadan. Akanran being a suburb and agrarian town has a serene and non-polluted environment, hence, the guest rooms being constructed simultaneously with the sporting facilities.
“The guest rooms will serve as the accommodation for those who want to use the complex for various kinds of recreation or the other”, he said.
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