Lagos State is banking on their strides over the years and a history of excellent results to put them top of this year’s National Sports Festival table in Abuja.
Although the state apparently relied on home advantage to finish top of the table when they hosted in 2012, sports officials in The Centre of Excellence believe they will repeat the feat at Abuja 2018.
The charge is being led by Lagos State Sports Commission director-general, Babatunde Bank-Anthony, who stressed that the state has a historically strong place in past sports festivals.
Bank-Anthony said history will propel the state to defend the title it won six years ago and come tops at the 19th edition in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Ahead of the festival, which will hold from December 6 to 16, Bank-Anthony said Lagos State’s preparations are in top gear, with all the athletes that would fly the flag of the state ready to prove their worth.
Bank-Anthony further said that all logistics are set for the festival and the state has also included an insurance policy for its athletes.
He added: “Lagos State boasts of the very best of the athletes in Nigeria; this is no secret, we have our policy of keeping our athletes fresh and fit, because they belong to us.
“All our athletes from the camp are ready for the challenge; we don’t have any mercenary among them. This is a standing policy we have adopted and it has been working for us.
“Our athletes do receive their entitlements in time, so we have no problems; this gives us confidence that our athletes will do well during the competition.
“All necessary things needed have been adequately taken care of, including all the logistics. We also have insurance cover in place for all the athletes, as a morale booster for them.
“We have our insurance company, LASACO to take care of all the insurance policies on behalf of the state. We are committed to the development of sports in Nigeria.
“We have a place in the history of the sports festivals, everybody knows our pedigree and we will not fall short of that; rather we will strive to raise the bar.
“To underscore our readiness, some of the Table Tennis players that made the podium during the Asoju Oba Cup will also be representing Lagos, so we are sure of many medals.”