Nigerian Secondary School Flag Football League begins in Lagos
The maiden edition of Nigerian Secondary School Flag Football League (NSSFFL) will begin in Lagos tomorrow, May 5, with over 900 athletes from 20 male and 20 female teams in attendance.
The Games, which will end on June 17, will run three days in a week at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. Speaking in Lagos, yesterday, the founder of American Football League (NAFA) in Nigeria, Babajide Akeredolu, stated that the maiden edition is being organised in partnership with Lagos State government.
“We focused on this group first because we understand that competition at this stage in the development of young people unlocks opportunities for healthy habits, psychological growth and immediate opportunities for scholarships and recruitment for the most gifted players both at home and abroad,” Akeredolu stated.
He continued: “For us, the greatest achievement will be to see our young boys and girls channel their youthful energy into this highly rewarding sport helping the league give birth to something that will create a better economy.”
He added that talents discovered at the competition would be used to create a strong all-star team that could represent Lagos at inter-state competitions and also give them opportunity to make the national team that will be constituted in 2023.
“Beyond the young boys and girls engagements, we also have in our plans to start university league and community league to give everyone the opportunity to partake in our game. We recognise that NAFA is well positioned to lead Nigeria, and Africa on this journey of acceptance to domination of the sport.”
On American Football in Nigeria, Akeredolu revealed that the game, which was launched as NAFA, was birthed in 2019, with the aim to grow and create opportunity through the sports across the country, and plant the sports in regions that are receptive to their message of community and teamwork.
“The idea behind NAFA came when we discovered there were a lot of people that had a passion for American Football, so, we decided that as a country, we needed the structure that would allow the game to grow. A few of us that had passion for the game came together to build an association that would help grow the game.” He thanked Lagos Sports Commission and others for their morale and financial support.
The Chairman of Lagos Sports Commission, Mr Sola Aiyepeku, who was represented by Mrs Oluyomi Oluwasunmi, hinted that the Commission decided to support NAFA because it’s programmes allied with Lagos State on youth encouragement and education. “Within a short period of time, we have trained over 100 Games Masters and Games Mistress. The slogan of Lagos Sports Commission is Stay in School and Stay in Sports,” she stated.