By Taiye Olayemi
Lagos, – Mrs Abiola Ogunbiyi, Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Sports Association, on Tuesday said the state would introduce Traditional Sports in schools in the state to improve students’ mental alertness.
Ogunbiyi, who became chairman of the association five months ago, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the association was currently working on creating awareness on the benefits of embracing the sports.
She said athletes who would be deployed to schools to train students and pupils were equally undergoing training after which the sports would be introduced to schools.
According to her, the sports should be introduced to children in schools because each of the sports like Abula, Ayo, Langa, Kokowa and Dambe had some intellectual and health benefits which children must tap from.
“We are planning to introduce these traditional sports to both public and private schools within the state.
“This will groom the children to improve their mental alertness, speed, stamina and strength, while the spirit of team building will equally be improved on.
“Ayo plays the part in improving mental alertness; Kokowa which is local wrestling will improve children speed and strength while Abula known as volleyball strengthens team building.
“All these will play out in their academics when they begin to develop themselves on the sports as soon as they are introduced to them.
“We are considering leaving Ayo out for children below seven years of age because of the fear of mistakingly swallowing the seeds.
“We know most parents and adults do not know the benefits of embracing the sports, so, we are presently creating awareness, going to schools, churches, social gatherings and all to do this,” she said.
Ogunbiyi urged Lagos citizens to embrace the sports as they were indigenous sports and they revolve round the culture of the state, adding that each of the sports had worked positively for the ancestors.
She said the association was working tirelessly to compliment the state government’s effort at making the state a sports hub for Africa.
“We have to go through the process of creating awareness to talent hunt, then to nurturing the talents to ensure that the sports take their pride of place in the state.
“Lagos residents must embrace and grow these sports because they suit our nature and culture.
“These sports are well embraced in the francophone countries and they are money spinners for them, we should be able to do the same here,” she said. (