Sports in Lagos to Bounce Back from Covid-19 Stronger, Says Aiyepeku

first_imgBy Duro IkhazuagbeThe Executive Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Sola Aiyepeku, has promised that sports would bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic -enforced break and even attain new heights in Lagos.Speaking on the effects of Covid-19 safety measures, Aiyepeku said athletes and businesses built around sports have had to face great difficulties but remained very proud of the level of compliance by stakeholders in the sector.“One can argue that only a few sectors were hit as hard as sports when the government took the responsible step of halting activities that involved large gatherings and contact. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (left) congratulating Sola Aiyepeku on his appointment as Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission …last November “Sports embody these things in many ways and as responsible citizens, we all have to comply. I have to say that I have been very impressed by the level of compliance by our athletes and other stakeholders in sports,” stressed the LSSC Chairman.He recalled that the pandemic did damage to the preparations the state’s athletes had made ahead of their participation at the National Sports Festival scheduled to hold in Benin City last March.“I particularly want to commend our athletes because it is easy to forget that the lockdown measures were put in place a few days to the commencement of the National Sports Festival in Edo.“Our athletes had camped for weeks, they had trained really hard and all was set for us to go and compete. To see them adjust as well as they did was really impressive,” observed Aiyepeku who thanked the athletes for appreciating measures put in place by the commission to ameliorate the hardship occasioned by the lockdown.“We are grateful that they were very appreciative of our gesture to distribute palliatives such as foodstuffs and cash to help them cope.”On what the Lagos Sports Commission had been up to over the past months, Aiyepeku said he and his team had focused on developing a Lagos State sports policy and weekly virtual strategy sessions which had coalesced into clear plans that would be implemented once Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gives the go-ahead for sports to resume fully.“We have already designed Covid-19 compliant events in sports that require minimal contact and requires few participants. We have the WHO guidelines on sporting activities which has enabled the major leagues and some events in Europe and America resume and we have staff and capacity to implement them.“Our plan is to start with those and then scale up to full events as the government allows. Our main focus once sports resumes fully is actually school sports. We believe strongly that the future of sports in Lagos and Nigeria in the next 10 years depends on the steps we take now,” he further observed.Aiyepeku revealed that the LSSC had commenced discussions with the Ministry of Education to integrate sports and start a wave of interest and participation among students that will catalyse in the production of talented and well-trained athletes that will represent Lagos, Nigeria and themselves all over the world for years to come.Aiyepeku insists he remains confident on implementing lasting changes as he enjoys the trust and support of Governor Sanwo-Olu and has a very solid team driving his policy and agenda.“When you are appointed into government, your agenda is driven largely by your principal’s vision and this is where I consider myself quite lucky. Mr. Governor’s agenda for sports sync nicely with a lot of the ideas and thoughts I have always considered the way to drive sports in Lagos and Nigeria.“That is, sports should be a vehicle to achieve many things including talent development, job creation, citizen engagement, and ultimately, a significant contributor to the economy and GDP through sports events, products, and activities.“His support for us is demonstrated by some of the successes we have recorded between November and March before the Covid-19 lockdown.We hosted the South-west Zonal qualifiers for the first time in over 40 years. “We played our role as Host City of the Lagos City Marathon, one of the biggest Marathons in Africa and we delivered a world-class event as attested to by local and foreign athletes as well as observers.“We hosted the Beach Soccer Copa Lagos and other sports events in Lagos all within these four months.“In fact, plans were afoot to bring other world-class events to Lagos before the pandemic hit and those discussions are still ongoing to find new dates. All these could not have been possible without Mr. Governor’s unflinching support for sports.”Aiyepeku’s dream is to start the work of laying the foundations of building a sports industry in Lagos that will sustainably deliver social and economic dividends to the state.“By doing this, we will all benefit. Imagine a sports system where sports education and training begins in schools, there are decent and accessible facilities for professional, aspiring and recreational athletes to train, world-class facilities to host local, regional and global events, a vibrant sports equipment industry supplying the equipment and kits needed by millions of recreational athletes, regulated gyms and fitness centers and well-trained coaches, instructors, and trainers.“It is an entire ecosystem and our vision is to stimulate that growth spurt the ecosystem needs to develop into a fully functional system as we have all over the world. Our vision for sports in Lagos is big and we have used the period of this enforced break to fine-tune our plans and strategies so that when the safety measures are lifted and normalcy is being restored, sports in Lagos will make an even bigger and better return,” Aiyepeku concluded.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Badgers chase outright WCHA title

first_imgWith a sweep of cross-state rival St. Cloud State over the weekend, Mark Johnson’s squad clinched a share of the WCHA title for the fourth time in the program’s 12-year history.[/media-credit]After clinching a share of its fourth WCHA title last weekend, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team is already looking ahead to next weekend to claim the entire crown for itself.Entering the final regular season series, the Badgers, sporting a 28-2-2 record (22-2-2-1 WCHA), can clinch an outright WCHA title and a first seed in the conference playoffs with one win over Ohio State this weekend. The win would give UW a two-game lead over rival Minnesota in the conference standings.Head coach Mark Johnson is looking forward to finishing the season strong at the Kohl Center against the Buckeyes and shook his head in disbelief that the regular season is already drawing to a close at his weekly press conference Monday.The 2012 seniors will be honored this weekend for their highly successful careers, and Johnson knows this weekend’s game comes rife with meaning and emotion.“The challenge will be coming out at 2 o’clock [on Friday] and have some energy and have some pace to our game, and know that if we’re successful our team will be rewarded at the end of the game,” Johnson said.Johnson stressed a key to success at the end of the season is being healthy, as he cited the return to health of junior defenseman Stefanie McKeough as a big plus to the lineup. McKeough boasts a plus-minus ratio of plus 20 and is sixth on the team with 19 points in her 21 games played.In addition to staying healthy, senior captain Hilary Knight, who will be playing her last series at home this weekend, has been instrumental to the Badgers’ largely victorious season. Knight, who is the school’s all-time leading goal scorer, has done things with the puck “that you don’t see too often in our game,” Johnson noted.And more than her on-ice ability to score big goals and create opportunities is the leadership Knight brings that will be sorely missed for next year’s team.“A lot of the little things that the public or fans don’t see is how she conducts herself on a daily basis, very similar to a lot of other successful players over the years,” Johnson said. “She does things the right way, whether it’s school, whether it’s taking care of herself, 24/7 of being an elite athlete … She does it very well.”Johnson went on to make the case that if Knight isn’t the best player in women’s college hockey this year, she’s at least in the top three, citing how she has played out of position and has made sacrifices for the betterment of the team. According to Johnson, having Knight at center rather than out on the wing has allowed her to carry the puck more and create chances for her teammates.Knight is up for consideration for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, annually given to the nation’s top female hockey player, and her biggest competition may come from her own teammates. Junior forward Brianna Decker is second in the nation in goals with 30 and total points with 66, while Brooke Ammerman is fifth with 62 points.Additionally, goaltender Alex Rigsby leads the nation with a .951 save percentage and is second in the country with a 1.40 goals against average.As the Badgers finish up the regular season, it will be difficult for them to keep their eyes on the prize and not slip into a mindset of complacency. Johnson is taking it one day at a time to keep his No. 1-ranked team in tip-top shape as they continue to ride an eight-game winning streak.“The team’s played consistent in the 32 games we’ve played, and for us to be in the position that we are in is a compliment to the players,” Johnson said. “As clich? as it is, we’re taking it one day at a time.”“We’ll go about our business like we have since September, and I’m sure the players will come out very excited and very enthusiastic about Friday afternoon’s game knowing what’s at stake.”last_img read more

Etisalat U-15 School Cup Season 3 Returns in October

first_imgAfter two successful seasons, Nigeria’s youth-friendly telecommunications network, Etisalat has concluded plans to kick off the third season of its Under 15 School Cup football competition, in October.The Etisalat U-15 School Cup is a national grassroot football competition designed to connect, engage and promote young football talents. It promotes national unity by connecting young and aspiring footballers to becoming future champions.According to the Director, Brand & Experience, Etisalat Nigeria, Elvis Ogiemwanye, the third season will provide exciting prospects of building on the success of the last two editions. “Our commitment to the nation is to support and create credible platforms that can contribute to the development of the country. Therefore, we are committed to developing a pool of young football talents. The success of the last two editions makes it even more exciting for us,” he said. The 2016 edition will start with state competitions where various schools will compete at the state level to win a spot at the regional group stage. The state winners will compete at the regional stage where 8 teams with the highest points will qualify for the National Finals happening in Lagos in November.The regional group matches will kick off with a Trophy tour around the host cities of Ibadan, Ilorin, Enugu and Kaduna to enable respective participating teams and their supporters catch a glimpse of the prestigious Champions Trophy and experience the Mobile Champions Studio which is an innovative platform created to enable participants take creative pictures of themselves as well as tell their own football stories to Nigerians.The impressive trophy was inspired by other international tournaments, predicated upon the belief that the competition will produce international champions in the near future. According to the Head, Events and Sponsorships, Modupe Thani, “the trophy has been designed to inspire our Etisalat School Cup Champions to believe in themselves and to dream of playing and winning bigger football championships as they grow their football talents and move unto professional football”.The tour also features the Etisalat Football Truck where school students will need to score goals into holes positioned on the vehicle. The tour promises to be exciting, engaging and very competitive.The maiden edition of the competition in 2013 was won by Keke Senior High School, Ijaiye, Lagos and the school was rewarded with N1million cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while the 2nd edition was won by Government Secondary School, Owerri, Imo State going home with the star prize of N2 million educational award and N50, 000 each to players of the winning team.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Oscar Pistorius prosecutors appeal verdict

first_imgProsecutors in the Oscar Pistorius case are appealing against the conviction and sentencing of the athlete for the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Last month parents her parents June and Barry Steenkamp told HELLO! they were relieved that the Paralympian had been given a five-year sentence for the killing of their daughter, which was ruled culpable homicide, roughly equivalent to a manslaughter charge in British law. Photo: © Getty ImagesOscar Pistorius is facing an appeal by prosecutors on ‘a question of law’However, the National Prosecuting Authority said it planned to appeal on a “question of law”. Spokesman Nathi Mncube  added: “The NPA will not be able to discuss the matter publicly until judgment is delivered by the court.”No date has yet been set for the hearing.Oscar admitted shooting the model, but said he mistook her for a burglar in the early hours of the morning. The champion sprinter is currently serving his sentence in the hospital wing of a Pretoria prison. He will be eligible to be released under house arrest in ten months.Oscar was also given a three-year suspended sentence for firing a gun in a restaurant.last_img read more

Lejla Tanović won the Balkan Championship

first_imgFive-time national champion, 22-year- old BiH cyclist Lejla Tanović, won the Balkan Championship in Montenegro.The race belonged to the UCI C2 category and was on the UCI World Calendar, in that way Lejla won her first victory on the UCI race for Bosnia and Herzegovina and won additional 30 UCI points. The second place took the Greek champion, Varvara Fasoi, while the third place was taken by a Serbian representative, Ivana Kostić.”I’m extremely satisfied with the golden medal, the preparations were very demanding; but, the hard work paid off. During the preparatory races for the Balkan Championship I showed a great shape and the possibility for winning the Championship. Still, after two silver medals from the previous championships, our aim was the golden medal. We knew that the competition is hard and that I have to ride tactical and technical without a mistake, which I managed to do in the end and won this important victory,” says Tanović.BiH cyclist is currently at the 79 place of the UCI ranking, which is the best result for Bosnia and Herzegovina until now, and after winning these new points, the new raking is in front of her. The next race for our representative is the National Championship.”The race was very demanding, but also very interesting for the watchers. Lejla was fighting for the first place against the Greek representative, Varvara Fasoi, who took the lead at the start of the race. Still, the decision to keep herself for later rounds proved to be good, and Lejla took and kept the lead after the third round, and in that way she won the Championship with three minutes of advantage. This is the first golden medal from the Balkan Championship for Bosnia and Herzegovina in elite category, and third medal for Lejla, which makes her the most successful mountain cyclist of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” says Amar Njemčević, Lejla’s coach.(Source: read more

Mason City man accused of rolling up personal charges on company credit card pleads guilty

first_imgMASON CITY — The sentencing date has been set for a Mason City man accused of using a company credit card numerous times without permission. 42-year-old Jeffrey Frampton was accused of using a credit card from Jiffy Lube from September to December of last year 32 times, rolling up charges of over $3620 to the business. Frampton was originally charged with one count of ongoing criminal conduct and nine counts of unauthorized use of a credit card. Frampton this week pleaded guilty to one count of credit card fraud. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on July 13th.last_img

SFA’s Hill to Retire at End of Academic Year

first_imgOne of the most ambitious projects during Hill’s tenure became reality in 2015 when the athletic department began producing live ESPN3 telecasts of home football, basketball, soccer and volleyball games. A state of the art facility now produces these telecasts using SFA students as the production crew. Active on the national scene, Hill served a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee where he was named chair during his final year.  He also is the current President of the Southland Conference Advisory Council. SFA also won its fourth consecutive Southland Conference women’s all-sports title in 2017 and fifth overall while winning the Southland Conference men’s all-sports trophies in 2013, 2011 and 2010. By winning the Commissioner’s Cup, the women’s all-sports title and the men’s all-sports title in 2010, SFA became just the second school to have swept all three awards in the history of the league.  Hill also played an important role in creating the “Battle of the Piney Woods” football game between SFA and Sam Houston State at NRG Stadium in Houston. The rivalry game moved from campus locations to the home of the Houston Texans in 2010. More than 26,500 attended the game in 2017. The partnership between Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, SFA and Sam Houston has created one of the most attended FCS football games of the year with the event now on a three-year rolling agreement because of its success. SFA became only the second school in the league’s history to repeat as Commissioner’s Cup winners for three consecutive years. In all, SFA has won five cups since 2010. “My mentor, Steve McCarty, always reminded me that to have a successful organization you need to hire great people and then stay out of their way and let them do their jobs,” Hill continued. “I’ve tried to follow that advice. Our coaches and support staff deserve all of the credit for what we have accomplished. Their dedication to our student-athletes and doing things the right way is what really makes SFA a Southland Conference leader.” At the conference level, Hill’s leadership helped SFA teams lay claim to 49 of the university’s 88 total Southland Conference titles. For the last three years, SFA has hoisted the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Cup – an annual award which represents the all-sports champion in the Southland Conference.  “Being able to pick my time to leave is rare in this business and I thank Dr. Pattillo and the Board of Regents for their support and confidence in me,” said Hill. Since Hill took over as director of athletics in the fall of 2005, SFA has enjoyed an unprecedented run of success both in the Southland Conference and on a national stage. Among the notable athletic achievements is an NCAA Division I national championship in bowling (2016); men’s basketball’s four appearances in the NCAA tournament which include wins over VCU (2014) and West Virginia (2016); Demi Payne becoming the first SFA athlete to claim a NCAA Division I individual title by winning the outdoor pole vault title in 2015; the first back to back Southland Conference titles in school history for football in 2009 and 2010; ten consecutive women’s conference track titles; five consecutive women’s soccer league titles and volleyball’s first NCAA tournament win in 2006.SFA Director of Athletics Robert Hill to Retire at End of Academic Year. #AxeEmStory |— SFA Athletics (@SFA_Athletics) January 30, 2018 A national search for Hill’s replacement will begin immediately. “I will always remain a Lumberjack and am looking forward to following the success of SFA athletics for many seasons to come,” Hill finished. NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin director of athletics Robert Hill announced Tuesday that he will retire from his role on May 31, 2018, following an affiliation with SFA athletics that spans over three decades in a various number of roles throughout the department.  In 2011 the National Association of Collegiate Director’s of Athletics named him Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision West Region. “Most importantly, I must acknowledge my wife Brenda and our children and grandchildren. Without their love, support and encouragement I would not have been able to spend the countless hours it takes to do this job. Now I look forward to having much more time to spend with them.” The academic success of SFA’s student-athletes has been a major point of emphasis to Hill throughout his time in charge of the department. In the 2016-17 academic year, 120 student-athletes received degrees and 201 SFA student-athletes were named to the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll. SFA athletics arrived at a major milestone in the fall of 2017, too, by posting a collective student-athlete GPA of 3.0 for the semester.last_img read more

Repeat offender charged for stealing rum

first_imgRepeat offender Shawn Cornelius, 18, who on a number of occasions was before the courts on larceny charges, was on Monday arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on a charge detailing that between January 21 and 22, 2018, at Bus Park, Port Kaituma, NWD, he broke and entered the shop of Latoya Tobin and stole alcohol and other alcoholic beverages to the value of $25,000.The Prosecution is also contending that on January 28, at Port Kaituma, Cornelius escaped from lawful custody.The teen admitted to the offence of larceny, and told the court he was “high” on drugs when he stole from the virtual complainant (VC).He also told the Chief Magistrate that while in Police custody, the officers had refused to give him meals, and that had prompted him to escape. He was later found at his mother’s residence, hiding near a tree.Cornelius was remanded to prison, and his sentencing has been set for February 4.last_img read more

Former Man United coach Queiroz agrees new Iran deal

first_img1 Former Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz Former Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz has penned a new four-year deal as the boss of Iran.The Portuguese – credited with nurturing the talents of compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford – enjoyed an impressive World Cup although his side finished bottom of a tough Group F which included Argentina, Bosnia and Nigeria.On the back of the summer tournament, the 61-year-old has earned himself a new deal with the national side and the former Real Madrid manager has also secured himself a pay rise.“It ‘s important, but not much higher than the previous one,” said the president of the Iranian Football Federation, Ali Kaffashian, about  Queiroz’s pay hike.last_img