The Chairman Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Sola Aiyepeku, on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the performances of its athletes at the recently concluded National Sports Festival (NSF) tagged Edo 2020.
Aiyepeku gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
NAN reports that the LSSC had on Wednesday organised a grand reception for its athletes who participated in the Edo 2020 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere.
Lagos State came fifth on the final medals table at the just concluded sports fiesta with 32 gold, 40 silver and 54 bronze, totalling 126 medals.
Aiyepeku said the LSSC management was happy with the athletes’ performances at the festival, adding that the result couldn’t have been better with the relatively small size of its contingent.
“We are happy and satisfied with the experiment at the just concluded NSF because it worked.
“We went to the festival with less than half of the squad that participated in the last festival, Abuja 2018.
“With our relatively smaller squad, we are still able to come back with just three gold medals short of last festival. It shows that the work we have started is yielding positive results.
“For us, Edo 2020 is a learning experience, because this is my first since assumption as LSSC Chairman. We have lessons learnt, and we will put them to experience to do better.
“Lagos State paraded the youngest team in the country because of our template of refresher courses and we also approached the festival with more females than male,” he said.
Aiyepeku stated that the return on investments on the athletes were higher, adding that Lagos State would keep improving on the welfare packages of its athletes.
“The return on investments on athletes are higher, more importantly, we will be having more competitions in between the festivals now; so, the rewards on performance and loyalty will be improved upon.
“We will base our selection of athletes on present performances and not relying upon previous records, just like what we have in international practice.
“We have appealed to our athletes to give us a chance because some of them have been promised in the past without anything to show for it; now, we are here to correct that.
“For the first time in history, we are giving our athletes instant cash reward immediately after winning medals, right there during the competition and we also ensure adequate welfare,” Aiyepeku said.
NAN reports that Delta won the NSF Edo 2020 with 158 gold, 116 silver and 110 bronze with a total of 384 medals.
Host Edo came second with 129 gold, 104 silver and 108 bronze, totalling 341 medals, while Bayelsa, Rivers, Lagos and Oyo came third, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. (NAN)