Students from different institutions on Monday commenced healthy rivalry in the 4th Lagos State Secondary Schools Handball Competition tagged ‘Opeifa Cup.’
Over 60 schools are expected in the competition, which will take place at Mobolaji Johnson Hall, Rowe Park, Yaba from May 14 to 18.
The defending champions are Archbishop Deacon Adelaja High School (senior boys), Herbert Macaulay Senior High School (senior girls), Herbert Macaulay Boys (Junior Boys) and Herbert Macaulay Girls (Junior Girls).
The organisers, Lagos State Handball Association said there is a reduction in the number of participating teams because of the need to uphold quality and ensure that schools that are well prepared take part in the competition.
Sponsor of the event, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, who was represented by Bola Asiru Balogun, said he is bankrolling the tournament in order to produce talents that would do Lagos State and Nigeria proud.
He also stated that the effort is to support government drive to develop sports in the country and expressed hope that the tournament would turn the south-west into handball hub.
Opeifa stated: “I must say that my desire is to continue to help develop Nigerian youths through sports and also support government effort to grow sports in the country.”
He also noted his desire is to ensure that the product of the tournament forms 50 per cent of the national team in the near future.
He also urged the organisers to build on the success of the event and commended president of Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Sam Ocheho, as well as Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), schools, referees, media and other stakeholders.
Director of Sports Development, Moses Kolawole said the product of the event have represented the state in national competitions and done well. He called on all stakeholders to rally round the organizers to deliver a flawless tournament.
He commended the sponsor for contributing to the development of the game in the country and called on others well-meaning individuals and corporate organizations to emulate the kind gesture.
Also, member of the board of LSSC, Hakeem Olukoga commended the sponsor and urged the teams to exhibit the spirit of sportsmanship throughout the tournament.