With the aim of discovering new talents and raising the next generation of swimmers, Love Nature Swimming Academy recently held a swimming age-grade competition at the Lagos Country Club.
The competition, which the head coach of the academy, Ifeoluwa Abimbola, said is aimed at bridging the gap and encouraging more swimmers to come out in a bid to help identify and showcase their talents; had competitors from various age groups fighting for glory.
Speaking after the event, some of the attendees lauded the organisers, but said there is still more to be done and called on the Lagos State Sports Commission to support the Swimming Association to groom young swimmers.
One of the parents who spoke said, “It makes me feel good that good swimmers have been identified from our competitions, but we still seek support because we are doing this out of passion. It is not easy to put events like this together and with more support, we can do this more than once a year and the children get the chance to improve their skills and we can identify more swimmers.
Head coach of the academy, Abimbola said: “We have junior swimmers coming up in different clubs and in different areas, but they are suffering from neglect and little support. We need the Lagos State Sports Commission to support the Swimming Association. Swimming is in such a sorry state, especially as the swimming pool at Teslim Balogun Stadium is in a bad state.”
Balogun charged the federation to get into grassroots swimming, identify potential talents and invest in them to represent the country on world stages.
“The federation should get to the grassroots, identify competitions like this and invest in them. Bring in corporate bodies to support competitions like this and by doing, you never can tell, we can see the next Niger Forbes and Michael Phelps here.
“We have a lot of untapped talents in the rural and riverine areas but what are we doing with all of that? We have people in the government that can get to the grassroots and competitions like this will help bring up these kids and we can have so many athletes from that pool.”