Hundreds of students from six Lagos schools, at the weekend, thrilled parents and guardians at the flag off of season four of the yearly Dolphin Swimming League.
The participants, drawn from Greensprings School, Grange School, Lagos Preparatory and Secondary School, Children International School, Riverbank School and St. Saviour’s School, were cheered to victory by their parents and guardians, just as the presence of the Nigeria Aquatics Federation and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) added glamour to the one-day fiesta hosted by Grange School, Ikeja.
Titles were won across 60 events among the elementary and secondary students with Chukwudi Kanu being the star attraction at the competition.
Technical Director, Nigeria Aquatics Federation, Samuel Jesimiel, described the performance of the students as impressive, especially the time posted by some of the swimmers. He added that the performance was encouraging for the federation in its continued search for new talents.
Jesimiel, who doubles as the technical coordinator of the tournament, admitted that the return of the league would help unearth fresh talents for the country.
Kanu, who represented Nigeria at a World Junior Championships earlier this year in Peru, showed class as he dominated most of his events, while also spearheading the dominance of Grange in the mixed relay events.
Taira Tijani, a parent, said the students need support to showcase their talents in sports apart from their academics, adding that this will help broaden their knowledge and afford them total education beyond the four walls of the class.
Youth Project Officer, NOC, Kemi Obidahunsi, said the organisers should be commended for the initiative while pledging NOC’s support to help the tournament grow, as well as expose the students to international tournaments.
Tournament coordinator, Oluseyi Oyebode, revealed plans to partner with the Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) and NOC to expose the students to international tournaments.
“We are working hard to partner with NSSF and NOC to ensure that this is a journey to stardom for these students because we want to expose them to world-class competition, where they can have the opportunity to represent Nigeria and pick tickets to the Olympic Games.
“We want to follow this through and ensure that this tournament provides a platform for talents to be identified and nurtured to stardom,” he said.