NIGERIA SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR 2012: Five Reasons Why Babatunde Raji Fashola Got Our Vote

Babatude Raji Fashola

Do you want to know how Cheer on Nigeria Blog decided to Vote Babatunde Raji Fashola, governor of Lagos State, as Nigeria Sportsman of the year 2012? May be you thought Mikel Obi Should have our vote for flying Nigeria flag high during Chelsea success at UEFA Champions League in May 2012. Or Perhaps, we should have voted Stephen Keshi for managing Super Eagles to qualify for AFCON2013. These two sportsmen were top contenders among norminees for the award.

But ‘Lagos State is Working! Babatunde Raji Fashola is working!’ Even a one eyed man could see clearly what the sports loving governor is doing in terms of promoting and developing sports, not only in Lagos State, but for Nigeria in general. Well, in case you don’t know some of the initiatives the able governor has championed this year, let me just acquaint you with five of them.

1. Development Of Sporting Facilities:

I may not say much here, because the works speaks for him. Just take a visit to ‘Campus Square’ Lagos Island or ‘Rowe Park’ Yaba, then you would understand my enthusiasm. Fashola has brought sports back to Lagos State. He has renovated Onikan Stadium, Agege Stadium and some touch of the former National Stadium Lagos. The finishing touch he gave to Teslim Balogun Stadium is world class. Just take a ride around Lagos and see what Fashola has done. Every sports have its place in Lagos State.

2. Hosting 18th National Sports Festival:

Eko 2012 has upped the standard once again, after Garden city 2011 performed wonders in terms of hosting. The orgnization of the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos State was typical of what it was meant to be – ‘Mini Olympics.’ The opening and closing ceremony clearly showed that Lagos State is come of age and capable of handling international events such as CommonWealth Games and Olympic Games. Eashola has set a pace for his successors.

3. Adopting A Talent Program:

You cannot beat this one! Fashola’s government/Private partnership initiative, where private individuals and corporate bodies are encourage to adopt a talent and nurture them until the athletes are capable of competing at the highest level, is already taken off. Most talents discovered during National Sports Festival are going to be first receipiant of the program.

Kanu and Gov. Fashola

4. Pacesetting Sports Business in Nigeria:

Early this year, Fashola entered a 5 years Memoradum of Understanding (MOU) between Lagos State and one of the world top most sports business organization, Soccerex. Soccerex is to help open up the business of football in Nigeria. The first conference held in September, saw legends of West Africa soccer gather together in Lagos. The conference was an eye opener to most sports manager that attended.

5. World Sports Star Exhibitions:

Fashola championed the initiative of getting world top sports stars to visit Lagos State, and engage with people. This program serve as inspiration to the young and intending Athletes. This year, with some corporate sponsorship, Lagos State hosted the Willam sisters. Serena and Venus Willam, the world foremost female Tennis stars,played some exhibition games with younger and upcoming tennis players. It was a great encouragement and a dream come through for those children that participated.

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