The Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Sola Aiyepeku, on Saturday described the newly-launched Lagos State School Sports Intervention Programme (LASSIP) as path to revolutionalise school sports in the state and the country in general.

Aiyepeku in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that the scheme was neccessary to develop sports from the grassroots.

“I can say that if we truly want sports at the grassroots in Nigeria which should start from Lagos, then, school sports under the LASSIP initiative is definitely the answer.

“The project is part of the visions and unprecedented investments of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in young Lagosians to provide them with more options now made possible under the LASSIP initiative, right step in the right direction.

“LASSIP will not only revolutionalise sports in Lagos but also see that our young ones are exposed to the new in-thing in sports development in the world.

“We are all happy to see the feat of Tobi Amusan who recently broke the world record. So, LASSIP did not just come as an accident, it is a deliberate plan to have sports as part of the curriculum in our public schools,” he said.

Aiyepeku said that the initiative would first run as a pilot programme where the school game masters would be trained on the expectations of the programme.

“We have earlier trained about 600 Physical Education teachers, and for the first scheme, we will train another 450 teachers so as to inculcate the agenda of the programme.

“Sports have gone beyond what we think; I could recall that as a child I was beaten for playing football because all what my parents wanted from me was studying.

“Now, I am a graduate of Chemical Engineering, but I eventually did not practice along my discipline, but stick to sports, only God knows what I would have become if I had been allowed to follow my passion.

“Sports have gone beyond playing on the field, as we know, sports now have many aspects that might be of interest to our children such as sports administration, medicine, therapy and physiology, marketing among others,” he said.

Aiyepeku said that the statewide training programme was first of its kind in Nigeria and that the fundamental plans to achieve the full potential of LASSIP had been put in place.

“We have designed a training module which will be field and classroom based and game masters are the resources we need to deploy these training in schools.

“Because the modules are based on the latest advances in school sports, it is imperative that we train game masters so that they can effectively deploy this training to students in schools.

“This is why our partnership with the Ministry of Education is very important. Our directorate of school sports will work directly with the ministry and so far, we are extremely excited to have the ministry on board as partners.

“The ministry completely understands the potential impact of this programme and are doing all it can as valuable partner,” he said.

NAN reports that the newly launched LASSIP is a wide-reaching intervention programme designed by LSSC in partnership with the Ministry of Sports to reintegrate sports to the Lagos State school curriculum.

The programme is part of a broad vision to leverage sports to promote physical fitness and wellness, offer alternative career paths to young people and create a sustainable pipeline of talent discovery and development.

The programme was launched on Friday with over 600 game masters and Physical Education teachers in attendance.