Lagos State Government has endorsed the Heritage Bank Skoolympics project, an initiative of Heritage Bank Plc, aimed at building a heritage of champions through youth sports competition at the secondary school level.
Mr. Ayodeji Tinubu, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government on Sports, gave the endorsement at a stakeholders meeting held at the corporate headquarters of the bank in Lagos recently, noting that Heritage Bank is the only bank at the moment that is undertaking such a lofty and premium sporting project in the state, which maiden event will take place from November 2 to 4, 2016.
He said, "We are very excited at the project because it will help to develop youths in the state in a disciplined manner," adding that we have mobilized and created awareness among students in the state for the project and were looking forward to it.
He said the Heritage Bank Skoolympics was a "very fantastic idea" and that the state was interested in the "pre, during and post event activities because it intended to expose the beneficiary students to proper mentoring and counselling."
Tinubu, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission said the state government was building a sports culture in the state as it is in most metropolis, through the creation of an enabling environment for sustainable sporting activities to thrive in a variety of sports events, in a bid to cater for the passion of majority of the citizenry.
Also speaking, Chief Mrs. Mary Onyali, the Brand Ambassador of Heritage Bank Skoolympics said, "I was really moved when I was approached to be the ambassador." She urged the stakeholders to make the Heritage Bank Skoolympics a continual project, as it consist of concepts that would benefit Nigerian children.
Earlier in her address of welcome, the Executive Director, Lagos and South-west/Corporate Banking of Heritage Bank, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, who stood in for the Managing Director, Ifie Sekibo, affirmed that the bank was spearheading the noble project in the state because Lagos State has been known to be successful in driving sports initiatives.
She said the bank has a sustainability plan to organise the programme yearly in a bid to identify, and mentor the winning youths over a long period of time to become medallists in international competitions.
Heritage Bank will be hosting over 200 public and private schools with about 6,000 students competing across all local government areas of Lagos State in the maiden event. The competition which will take place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere and Rowe Park Sport in Yaba will feature various sporting activities like basketball, athletics, handball, table tennis, swimming, track and field events among others.