The Federal Government’s bid to restore the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos to its old glory has received a major boost with the commencement of the installation of the tartan tracks last week.
A top official of Kyle Next, one of the contractors handling the rehabilitation of the edifice confirmed the laying of the tracks has commenced and could be completed in four weeks with the newly installed facility in place.
Track technical specialist Joseph Ayinla of Ideal Sports, a sports facilities installation and management company, revealed that the tracks will be laid in stages.
“The first stage that we commenced last week is the Elastic layer(E-layer)stage which will be followed with the Sealant stage to make the tracks impermeable to water and other fluids. The third stage will be the coating stage.
“After all these have been done, a certified World Athletics tracks marker will then do the markings. There will be a 9 lane running track and the strip for jumps, which is for long and triple jumps,” disclosed Ayinla, who was part of the team that laid the last tracks at the stadium in 1998, twenty four years ago and has been involved in the laying of such facilities in some other top class arena in Nigeria and beyond.
Already, there has been the installation of a digital scoreboard and a revamping of the football pitch of the stadium by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development through the Public-Private Partnership(PPP) arrangement and the Adopt a Pitch initiative put in place by the Sports Minister Sunday Dare.
On the rehabilitation of the terraces, the Minister confirmed that progress is being made in sourcing the funds needed for the project.
He said:”Our Adopt a Pitch arrangement with Premier Lotto for the Lagos National Stadium covers the pitch, tracks and scoreboard and that is on course. We are also making progress in sourcing the funds to fix the terraces.”
Only last week, work began on the regrassing of the pitch of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium(formerly called Liberty Stadium)in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The other highpoint of the sport infrastructure development drive of the Federal Government in the last three years has been the restoration of the playing turf of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja after many years of neglect.