As part of the efforts to make rugby a popular sport in Oyo State, the state’s Commissioner of Sports, Abayomi Oke at the weekend inaugurated new rugby and shooting boards at the state secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
Speaking at the ceremony, Oke said the inauguration was in line with the state government’s plan to produce more talents in all sports.
“We have abundant talents in Oyo State and this administration has started a deliberate effort to develop grassroots sports across the state. I hereby seize this opportunity to call on all and sundry to join us in our efforts to reclaim our pride of place in Nigerian sports.
“What we are doing today is to channel a new course for rugby in the state and I can assure you of adequate support from us here as a government. But one thing is that your attention should focus more on youth development because we need to start from the basics,” he said.
He also urged the managers of the new rugby and shooting board to focus more on youth development and woo sponsors to help the associations organise more competitions.
Also speaking at the event, new chairman of the Oyo State Rugby Federation, Jide Afolabi expressed appreciation to Oke for the opportunity to serve on the board.
He revealed that plans were on going in Oyo State Rugby Federation to affiliate with international unions as the board begins working.
Vice chairman of the rugby board, Sola Rogers also expressed excitement at the composition of the board, saying this is the right moment to make rugby one of the biggest sports in Oyo State.
The board of the Oyo State Rugby Federation is made up of Jide Afolabi (Chairman), Sola Rogers (Vice Chairman), Wale Agbaje, Niyi Alebiosu, Ayo Ogundele, Damola Layade, and Tony Akwosa.