Over 300 students from schools in Lagos took part in a two-day programme tagged: ‘Gymnastics Open Day’, held at the Mobolaji Johnson Indoor Sports Hall, Rowe Park, Yaba at the weekend.
The clinic, which introduced the students to gymnastics, where they were taught the basics of the sport, which include floor exercise, balance bim, parallel bar, pummel horse, vaulting, bouncing on the tarpaulin among others, was organised by the Lagos State Sports Commission in conjunction with the state’s Gymnastics Association.
At the end of the exercise, a number of students were identified by the technical experts for further training in the game.
Speaking at the occasion, the Executive Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh said the essence of the programme was to create awareness of the sport so that talents can be unearthed in line with Governor Akinwumi Ambode’s mandate for the Commission.
“What we are trying to do here is talent identification and we are working with the gymnastics experts. Already, some names have been shortlisted and those are the ones that they will work on and take further.
“The programme is first of all about creating awareness and a lot of the these children I understand didn’t even know what the game was all about until now.
But see how just in two days after they have been put through by the technical experts that they have been able to do things that probably they will never have been able to do.
“The next level is to ensure that we organise regular camp for those that have been identified. We are going to be having summer clinics, holiday camps even during school hours once in a while even on Saturdays, where we bring them together to show them a bit more of the sport,” he said.
An elated Chief coach of the state Gymnastics Association, Mr. John Abiodun Oyewuwo, expressed joy over the programme that was returning after many years of inactivity.
“The students were young and they responded to what we taught them. We have about 300 students. We were able to carefully select 107 who distinguished themselves.
“Those selected will form the bulk of young gymnasts that will be further groomed. Lagos State has the best equipment for gymnastics in Nigeria, and I am happy that we are catching them young now,” Coach Oyewuwo said.