Actions will commence across various sports centres today as the long awaited Gateway Tertiary Institution Games (GATIG) finally kick-off in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
The GATIG Games last held in the year 2009 after three editions is believed to be back to life after over a decade moribund, while the last administration did not pay attention to its revival until now.
The games initiated in 2005 to be a unifying events for all tertiary institutions across the state has produced several talents that have represented the state and Nigeria at international competitions.
The Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dr. Oluwadare Kehinde during a media briefing held on Tuesday at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta to herald the commencement of the games affirmed that the games has come to stay in the ministry calendar year.
Hon. Kehinde remarked: “A well-defined sports event like GATIG Games has been designed as a way to ensure that our tertiary institution students develop the right mental, rational, emotional, physical, and psychological strength to build a great and eventful life.
“Sports requires memorization, repetition and learning which are set of skills that are directly relevant to tertiary education. Physical vigour and mental accuracy are basic rudiments of success.
“We hope to use this GATIG to discover raw talents among the students of our tertiary institutions in Ogun State and assist them in horning their skills for national and global prominence.”
Furthermore, the commissioner recalled that the last edition of the games was held twelve years ago, and took so long to get the games back on track.
“The return of this games is a testament to the state government promise to return the state to its enviable heritage among the Comity of States in the country.
“Upon my assumption to duty as commissioner, I promised our teeming youths that we will return our dear state to its enviable sports heritage among the Comity of States in Nigeria.
“You will recall that the 3rd edition of this games was held in 2009 which was precisely 12 years ago. I am therefore extremely happy that we are gathering here to flag off activities for the 4th edition holding between Wednesday October 6th and 9th, 2021.
“This is a testimony that the present administration under His Excellency, Prince (Dr.) Dapo Abiodun is resolute in returning our dear state to his glorious sports heritage. The whole idea of sports is not just to engage in physical activities or fight for a common goal.
In his address, Chairman of the Technical Committee, Prince Tunji Onatolu explained how the games would be held as well as the number of institutions that would be taken part at the event.
He noted that six institutions were anticipated to compete jus as five had arrived last night while the remaining one would arrive before the opening ceremony billed for Alake Sports Centre, Ijeja.
They were Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu; Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED); Ogun State College of Health and Technology, Ilese; Abraham Adesanya ICT Polytechnic, Ijebu-Igbo; and Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye.”
Similarly, Director of Sports, Ogun State Sports Council (OGSSC), Princess Folakemi Iyabode Rotimi on her part highlighted on the council readiness to ensure that talents were discovered and nurtured into national limelight.
Also, she read out all the various sports events and the venues for all the events to the admiration of sports writers at the briefing.
She said: “17 different sports events have been slated for competition by all the institutions. Among them are athletics, badminton, swimming, table tennis, football, basketball, judo, scrabble.
“The event will hold at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Oke Mosan; Alake Sports Centre, Ijeja, and MKO Abiola International stadium, Kuto, all in Abeokuta.”