Teachers and games masters selected from public primary and secondary schools across Lagos Island were introduced to the rudiments of rugby in order to get the kids into the sport.
The exercise which was supported by the Lagos State Rugby Association is designed to develop the game from the grassroots, especially in schools, is a corporate social responsibility initiative of the newly formed Lagos Island Rugby Football Club as the community based outfit begin preparations for its official launch in August.
At the seminar which has the theme: ‘Get Into Rugby’, participants were encouraged to focus on the technical aspect of the sport rather than its roughness, as facilitators convinced the gathering on the rules and ethos which make the sport safe for beginners.
In a chat with NationSport at the event held held at the Christ Church Cathedral School Hall, Broad St, Lagos Island, Wednesday, founder of the Lagos Island RFC and sponsor of the seminar, Honourable Larinde Williams stated that there has been a gap in the development of the sport from the grassroots while revealing plans to expose the kids and give them opportunity to develop their talents and play at the highest level.
“Lagos Island RFC was set up as a vehincle to socio-economic development within Lagos Island. So it is a club for Lagosians. We are going into the communities, training our youths. They are the ones that will carry forward into the club.
“Our purpose in not joining the league but to build and develop players, build and develop youths, individuals to be a better citizen of our community, state and Nigeria as a whole,” Williams noted.
Chairman, Lagos State Rugby Association, Akinwunmi Akintola, commended efforts of the Lagos Island RFC for creating awareness about the benefits of sport and encourage more kids to get involved.
“Some of the schools are already playing rugby but what we are doing is to harmonize things, encourage the coaches that are already coaching rugby in schools, bring them under the umbrella and find a way that they themselves are relatively happy. That it is not just a passion, but they are being appreciated and recognized,” Akintola said.
The one-day seminar was attended by over 46 primary and secondary school teachers and games masters and other stakeholders including Team Manager of the Nigeria National Rugby teams, Dele Coker; representatives of the Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, politicians led by APC party chieftain in Lagos Island, Chief Sobaloju; Education Secretary, Lagos Island LGEA, Moshood Mayegun; Director of Sports, Education District III, Adeyemi Onanuga amongst others.
The one day seminar was a prelude to the forthcoming Governor’s Rugby Cup to celebrate the new administration in Lagos State under the stewardship of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the inauguration of the club billed for next month.