A fresh chapter was re-opened in deepening the popularity of rugby in Nigeria with an exhibition game held at the Sports Centre of the Lagos State University.
Initiator of the Nigeria Varsity Rugby Tubosun Johnson said bringing the sports into Nigerian tertiary institution was to ensure its development was extended beyond the primary and secondary levels where the focus has always been.
This serves as an in-road to an uncharted grounds in the drive to make the game popular and expand it’s frontier.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Turbo Crest Sports, he believes that taking Rugby to the university will give more filip to it just like in other climes.
“one of the major factor that have been helping Rugby to grow in some countries is that it’s running in their tertiary institutions” he continued, “and in Nigeria, we have Rugby in the grassroots and the secondary schools but sadly it ends there. So I felt I should take the initiative and introduce it to our universities as way of ensuring the development continues after all as the saying goes, ask for what you can do for your country.”
Incidentally, some new converts were made as some students took the moment on field to have their first feel of the oval ball as they ran with it like their new found love.
At the exhibition game, the All-Stars were almost as immaculate as their white kits when Emmanuel had a double Try with Timi adding his but the Nigerian Falcons fought back through Tunde, Kiki and Lateef to even the score at the end with a 15-15 result to the delight of the cheering spectators including the Acting Director of Sports Oke Bello as well as the students’ Director of Sports.
Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello who was represented at the epoch-making event was glad a new sports was witnessed in the school.
The VC who spoke through a representative urged the organisers to explore more channels in tertiary institutions sports to introduce rugby to more schools like the Nigeria University Games Association (NUGA) Games where it can be featured as a demonstration sports.
Johnson who had over 50 international appearances for Black Stalllions was ecstatic on the acceptance of rugby by the school and promised to take the exhibition game to other universities, this time with coaching programmes in order to strengthen the sports at that level.
He appreciated the efforts of Ademola Are the President of Nigeria Rugby Football Federation as well as Mariteam Nigeria Limited, Whassan Nigeria Limited, Famboss Nigeria Limited, Nigerians in Diaspora (Singapore chapter), Swift Telecom, Eat n Go and Supersport for backing up the Nigeria Varsity Rugby initiative.
He however called on individuals and organisations to give more support to the initiative.