The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to build five new stadiums in the five major districts across the State as part of its vision of massive development of the sports sector.
The newly-appointed Director General of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Gbolahan Adewunmi Ogunsanya, said the construction of the stadiums would commence early next.
Ogunsanya disclosed that the famous Maracana Stadium playing pitch in Ajegunle, where many ex-internationals were discovered, would be constructed with modern facilities, having been chosen as one of the designated sites for the new stadiums.
Ogunsanya promised heightened sports development in the next three years in line with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s vision and campaign promises, which include provision of facilities in districts, communities and neighbourhoods, increased attention to schools sports for the discovery and development of athletes and the revival of the state’s sports trust fund.
He called for the support of the organised private sector towards achieving a more robust sports environment in Lagos.
Ogunsanya said: “The Governor is very much aware of the importance of sports in society and is very serious about sports development.
“He has a well documented road map of clear vision for sports development.
“By next year, the construction of five standard stadiums in five districts across the state would begin, including the Maracana Stadium in Ajegunle and others at Igbogbo, Epe and Badagry.
“The plan also includes providing sports parks and recreational facilities in various neighbourhoods to revive grassroots, community and schools sports.
“This includes the construction of mini sports centres, indoor gyms or sports quadrangles, where space permits, in about 300 secondary schools across the state as legacy projects.
“The issue of availability of land tends to constrain the provision of sports centres in various communities, but we will continue to develop ideas.
“It is important, too, that the private sector and community leaders join hands with the government for us to collectively pursue and achieve these goals for the benefit of all.”
Ogunsanya disclosed that Governor Ambode had already submitted the Bill for the revival of the State Sports Trust Fund, which he said has undergone second reading and would be a subject of pubic hearing possibly this month at the State House of Assembly.