In a bid to increase competitiveness among athletes in Lagos, the Lagos Athletics Association (LASAA) is organising its maiden edition of the Athletics Clubs Series with the first leg billed for Sunday, February 19 at the Yaba College of Technology.
According to the chairman of LASAA, Solomon Alao, the tournament is aimed at engaging athletes in order to keep them in shape for major events and make the state the hub of athletics in Nigeria.
“We want to keep the athletes busy in the best way possible and to make them competitive as well as provide an avenue where the young ones can compete with the best in the country.
“To foster friendship, develop spirit of competitiveness and to help put Lagos on the map once again as the centre for athletics development,” he said.
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Also, the Technical Director of LASAA, Enefiok Udo-Obong, said N10m would be on offer in the four legs of the series, adding that it is the biggest rewarding competition in the history of athletics in Nigeria.
“In total, athletes will compete in four legs and they will be aiming to share from the N10m cash prize. It is the biggest rewarding competition in the history of athletics in Nigeria. The league format is innovative as it has never happened before and it is hoped that the World Athletics would adopt a similar format to make athletics a follow-able sport,” he said.
The former Nigerian international, however, said that the tournament is an open event but athletes must register with their clubs to take part in the competition.
“It is an open competition but you must register with a club to be part of the series. We are trying to develop a club system because they are the ones that develop the athletes. It is not only open for all athletes nationwide but the world over as we have some international clubs coming,” he explained.
The one-day championships will have athletes compete in 100, 200, 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 4X100m relay, and long-distance races like 1500m, 3000m and 5000m.
Winners in each event will garner points while the top 12 in each event will earn bonus points for their efforts.