Courtesy of Elder Ernest Kasunmu, the Chairman of Agbado Oke Odo Community Development Council, lovers of Boxing will be gathered together on Sunday, 17th December, 2023 in the second edition of the annual Amateur Open Boxing Competition.
The competition hosted by Karomishaus Organisation is expected to be jointly held with the support of Agbado Oke Odo Local Council Development Area and Lagos State Amateur Boxing Competition.
According to the organisers, the aims and objectives of the competition among others are “to engage the youths meaningfully, and by extension gainfully employed through sports,” noting that “In Nigeria we have not fully tapped into the potentials of sports as business.”
Kasumu explained further that “participants are amateur boxers from our LCDA and others from councils like Mushin, Oshodi, Agege Orile Agege, Egbe Idimu and Ojokoro and it is going to be in both male and female categories. It is free and participants will be given prizes.”
The promoter who was also a boxer in his growing years also noted that crime would be reduced where youths are meaningfully and gainfully engaged.
“We are of the view that crime will be highly reduced where youths are meaningfully engaged. Take the example of football competition you can’t hear of crime during competition because everybody is watching the game, and it would help the mental development of our youths. One way or the other we are all involved playing and watching games,” he explained.
Speaking on his current challenges in staging the competition, the organizers clearly identified finance as the main challenge, saying “The challenge is mainly funding, our plan is to host the entire state and use Meiran Model College, but because we could not get accommodation for the boxers we have to reduce the number of participating local governments.”
He however reiterated his commitment to host a well-organized interesting and exciting competition which will draw keen watchers from within and outside Agbado Oke Odo Community.
“We are prepared to make it happen, and we are still speaking with some would-be sponsors to see the need to be part of history even though the economy is bad. We expect media supports, we expect our business concerns in the Community and Lagos State at large to come to our aid, we are also calling on well-meaning and spirited community leaders to join this move to develop our youths in the area of sports development. We have done it before and we are ready to do it and better again,” he promised.
Elder Kasumu who is not a stranger to grass roots youth development in sports said of his background and experience, “I am a former boxer during my secondary school days at St Charles Grammar School, in Osogbo, the present Osun State capital. I captained the Osun Zone for about three years before leaving in 1984. I am also a member of Oko Awo Boxing Club under late Coach Bonny Ade.”
The competition holds at Oke Odo Primary School Playing Ground, Old Ota Road, Ile-Epo, in Agbado Oke Odo LCDA, and activities begin at 12noon.
Expected at the competition are seasoned sports administrators, in Lagos State, including Ogboni Fouad Oki, Chairman, Lagos State Football Association, and Hon. Bolaji Yusuf, Chairman, Lagos Street Soccer Championship.
Others expected are officials of Lagos State Sports Commission like Prince Kolawole Oluwasegun Moses, Director of Sports Development, Mr. Uthman Ola Okunnu, Head of Technical, Mr. Deji Aladegbemi, Head of Sports Unit, and Mr. Travih Olumide Nunayon, Director of Sports Development, Lagos State Sports Commission.