13 Year-Old Dazzles at Lagos Schools Swimming Tourney
Thirteen-year-old Naomi Oke was cynosure of all eyes at the final day of Lagos State Government's Open Swimming Championship for secondary schools at the swimming pool of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos on Sunday.
Oke, a SSS 1 student of Avital College, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos, carted home nine gold medals in the three-day event facilitated by the Lagos State Sports Commission and organised by the Lagos State Swimming Association.
Oke said her ambition was to do Lagos proud in national championships and represent Nigeria in the Olympic Games someday. Her golden performance was recorded in events such as freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke, 50m, 100m and 200m events.
It was no surprise, however, as Oke was adjudged the best swimmer in the senior secondary school (Girls) category by a panel of technical officers of the competition.
"I'm so glad competing in this championship because it afforded me to test strength among other swimmers and more importantly, I made new friends, " Oke said
Other winners included Simeone Ore of Ipakodo Grammar School, Ikorodu, who won the junior secondary school girls category. With five gold, three silver and one bronze medal; Mogbojuri Adedoyin of Ajegunle Senior High School, Ajegunle, Ikorodu, won the senior secondary school boys category, while Chibubem Obata of St. Judes Private School, FESTAC, Lagos won the junior secondary school boys category.
Meanwhile, a member of the governing board of Lagos State Sports Commission, Alhaji Tijani Abdulazeez Adebayo, commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for his support and promised to continue supporting yearly organisation of the championship. He said Lagos' investment in the grassroots and school sports events had been paying off with the discovery of the likes of Oke.
A board member of the commission, Mr. Babatunde FatayiWilliams, who is also the technical director of the commission noted that Nigeria as a country had lost its glory when it neglected school sports. He however, commended the visionary steps being taken by the Lagos State Government to put its resources in developing sports through schools. "You can see several competitions across sports focusing on schools in Lagos. This is a conscious effort of our amiable Governor to give sports a new direction and Performance driven in the state. We are taking school sports in the front burner in Lagos and the results are these young athletes we are discovering, "Fatayi-Williams said.
No fewer than 152 athletes from 32 schools in public and private secondary schools took part in the championship. Prizes were given to all first, second and third place winners and certificates of participation to all swimmers.