How Lawmaker Promotes Sports Development In Osun State

An Osun State lawmaker, Honourable Babatunde Olatunji, ‎is promoting the spirit of unity, especially among youths in the state, mostly through sports. One way of … Continue reading How Lawmaker Promotes Sports Development In Osun State

Osun State, Lawmaker, Babatunde Olatunji,Sports

Osun State, Lawmaker, Babatunde Olatunji,SportsAn Osun State lawmaker, Honourable Babatunde Olatunji, ‎is promoting the spirit of unity, especially among youths in the state, mostly through sports.

One way of achieving lasting unity, Honourable Olatunji, who represents Ife North State Constituency, says is the reintroduction of local football tournament and indigenous games in the state.

He explained that such ‎competition would also help to discover talents that could be nurtured to represent Nigeria at various championships.

The lawmaker made the remarks on Thursday after a walk he championed to herald the opening of the “Olatunji Grassroots Development Soccer Competition” in Ipetumodu in Nigeria’s southwest Osun State.


The over 5km walk started in Edunabon and saw both young and old moving through to Moro down to Yakoyo and terminating at Ipetumodu town.

The lawmaker described the competition, which he reintroduced, as a social responsibility particularly at this period of Nigeria’s recession, to bring joy to the Ife North Constituency and make the youths feel alive.

Promoting Indigenous Games

“The walk has been on even before my coming into office as a corporate social responsibility to my people. Annually, I promote youth soccer competition in this constituency and we feel it’s what we should sustain. If I’ve been able to do it while not in office, why not now that I’ve been elected to represent my people?


“Today we are flagging it off with a unity walk and it’s just to promote the spirit of sportsmanship. We want our youths to know that the essence of participating in this competition is just for the fun of it and to have the opportunity to showcase their God given talents. Twelve teams are expected to participate in this tournament (but) this year, we are actually expecting about 800 to 1000 youths to take part in this tournament directly or indirectly.

“Aside this, we are also going to be promoting our indigenous games (and) for the first time this year, we will be introducing the ‘Ayo‎ Olopon game’ which is a traditional game for those who are gifted. We feel that it’s part of our culture and heritage and we noticed that the popularity of that game is beginning to dwindle because it’s majorly played by the older generation.

“I feel that if games like Cheshire and monopoly can today become a game widely accepted across the world, so, why not promote our own local games? So we hope to make it a state wide competition in the near future and later see how our winner can get involved in national games too,” he told reporters.


Promote Unity And Brotherliness

On soccer, the lawmaker said: “We have talents here and the best I can do is to help discover those talents from my constituents and help them become professional footballers. I’m happy and excited that the youths are really into it.

“Beyond the games, we want to promote unity and brotherliness. one very scarce global commodity today is peace and this is one of the things we aim to promote with this soccer game. The youths you are seeing here today cut across (different) political parties (and) religious backgrounds. We have come together as one and see ourselves as brothers as that is the true essence of sportsmanship.

“We will be able to promote the spirit of sportsmanship. Sports unify and that is our goal in bringing these youths together. We will be able to tell them about how to use their talents profitably and guide them to the right way on making their future very relevant by combining sports with academic and entrepreneurship”.

In his remarks, the Osun State House Committee Chairman on Youth Sports and Special Needs, Honourable Famuyide Tajudeen, lauded the initiative and assured the youths of the Assembly’s support.


“Youths are our future and engaging our youths in productive activities in Osun State is very essential. The youths in Nigeria today are fed up of the unemployment level. So, by engaging them, we are taking away their minds from vices that may get them in trouble. Sports is a veritable means of employment.

“Osun State is very active in sports in Nigeria. We are just challenged by funds for now but some of us despite the paucity of funds are engaging the youths in one way or the other to take them off the streets. So, we will continue to do more,” Tajudeen promised.

The grand finale of the soccer competition has been scheduled for December 31, 2016.