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.

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