Excitement, expectations as Monopoly becomes Lagos’ official sport
• U-17 secondary school tourney begins September 17
It was an exciting moment yesterday at the Molade Okoya Thomas hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, where sports enthusiasts from all walks of life gathered to witness launch of Monopoly as one of Lagos’ official sports.
The launch, which elicited from the expectations of a fun filled future, marked the beginning of a partnership between Lagos State Sports Commission and Bestman Games.
The organisers explained that the launch was aimed at creating awareness on Monopoly as a sport that would expose Nigerian youths to the rudiments of the game, which has been accepted in other climes.
Lagos State Sports Commission Chairman, Deji Tinubu, who is also the Special Adviser on Sports to the Governor of Lagos State, explained that Monopoly gives every child the opportunity to engage in sport, adding that Bestman Games’ ability to popularise the game would broaden the intellectual horizon of the state’s youths.
He said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s youth development programme, which aims at creating the enabling environment for sports, was the key factor that brought the partnership with Bestman Games.
“Our youths, who are leaders of tomorrow, need to be empowered through sports and the emergence of Monopoly, as a sport in the state, has opened doors for children to participate in any sports of their choice.
“It is not a must that every child will play football, basketball and other popular sports; they need to be given the chance to test their potential in other games. This is what the vision of Monopoly is all about. I thank Bestman Games for bringing this initiative,’’ he said.
He disclosed that the Lagos Sports Commission was working hard to ensure every child combined sports with education, saying, “a child will not run away from school if he knew he has one hour to participate in any sports in the school. Every child needs all round development to excel.”
Also speaking at the event, Bestman Games CEO, Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe, who disclosed that Monopoly came to Lagos in December 2012, explained that the launch was geared towards revolutionizing the sport in the state by instilling a sense of community and nostalgia amongst all those who love Lagos and Nigeria.
She said it would create a game that people can relate to, including its own legendary streets, neighbourhoods, landmarks, tourist heritage sites and leading brands.
Mrs. Akinkugbe disclosed that through Monopoly she was already aware of Old Kent Road, Mayfair and Parklane before visiting London, saying that Nigerian children at home and the Diaspora now have a board game they could identify with and learn about.
“Nearly four years ago in 2012, we gathered at the imposing City Hall on Catholic Mission Street for the launch of the City of Lagos Edition of Monopoly by the former Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola. It was the first African city edition of Hasbro’s World Famous board game and we are deeply proud that the Mega City of Lagos was honoured with that special status. Our company, Bestman Games is the African distributor of customized edition of Monopoly,’’ she said.
She added that a tournament, tagged City of Lagos U-17 Monopoly Championship, will hold on September 17 with no fewer than 2,000 students from 100 private and public schools fighting to become Lagos State Monopoly champion.
Akinkugbe said that the overall winner of the Monopoly championship would smile home with N1 million prize educational fund.
“A month ago, we had the pleasure of training 100 teachers from 100 Lagos schools for the championship. It is appropriate that this historic tournament in which we expect to beat a world record should take place on the grounds of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, which is the landmark of Monopoly Board,” Akinkugbe said.
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