The Dele-Oladejo South-West Squash Championship was conceived to engage youths and to nurture players who would represent Nigeria in the future, the Sponsor, Dr Dele Oladejo has said.
Speaking at a news conference to herald the maiden Dele-Oladejo South -West Squash Championship on Wednesday in Ibadan, Oladejo said that the annual championship was also to promote the game of squash.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports the competition scheduled to hold from April 8 to April 9 was packaged to coincide with the 54th birthday of Dr Oladejo, the founder and patron of Dele-Oladejo Women Health Foundation.
Oladejo, represented by Mr Abiodun Akinyele, said “This squash open championship is meant to serve as a clarion call to develop productive youth engagement strategies needed to contain and channel their inherent exuberances towards adding positive value to our society.
“The age grade championship is a vehicle to reach out to a vital component of the family in his impressionable and formative stage thereby rescuing the teenage youth from the clutches of delinquency.”
Also, Mr Niyi Oyewunmi, Chairman of the organising committee and an ex-international, appealed to the government not to see sports as football only, but come to the aid of other sports.
Oyewunmi said that other sports would be meaningfully impacted if government spend just 10 per cent of what it depends on football on them.
“I will use this opportunity to appeal to the government that it is not just football, because in football, if you go to Olympics, you will only win one medal.
“But in squash, we have singles, we have team, we have four players that makes a team. So, individually, they can win gold, silver, bronze, win a team event,” he said.
Oyewunmi said that no fewer than 45 players from Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Oyo States have arrived Ibadan for the U-13 and U-16 Dele-Oladejo South-West Squash Championship.
Dr Akinbobola Cole, an ex-international, counseled the young players on the need to excel in their academics as they do in sports.
“I don’t want you to spend all your time on sports. You must also excel in your academics, it is very important.
“So, I will appeal to all of you, young boys and girls here, take your academics very seriously as well,” he said.(NAN)
– Apr. 07, 2021 @ 20:43 GMT