BY DAPO SOTUMINU, GUEST WRITER
The generality of Team Lagos athletes have applauded the performances of the Chairman of the state’s sports commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, over the years since he assumed office in charge of the state’s sports.
The athletes, expressed satisfaction especially in the areas of welfare, prompt payment of salaries, facilities, competitions and the development of sports in the state.
The overall captain of Team Lagos, Tunde Mohammed, remarked: “So far, so good, sports have been doing very well under Dr Tandoh. In fact, he continued where the late Deji Tinubu stopped.
“While preparing for last year’s National Sports Festival in Abuja, we were camped for a long time and the athletes’ allowances and bonuses were paid, so we went to the festival in Abuja very happy.
“Even at the festival venue, there were on the spot cash rewards for athletes who won medals.
“This further morally boosted Team Lagos athletes to do well, where Lagos finished fourth with a total 146 medals from 36 gold medals, 37 silver and 73 bronze the biggest haul among all the 36 states that participated.
“Team Lagos was given the best accommodation for athletes in Abuja, it was not different for the junior athletes at the National Youth Games in Ilorin.
“The motivation spurred the athletes on to win the overall second position behind Delta State with 23 gold, 15 silver and 22 bronze medals totaling 60 medals.
“The Commission does not owe us salaries, the same with our grants. The only thing we are waiting for is our cash reward from the governor for winning medals at the last editions of the Sports Festival in Abuja.”
Tunde Mohammed noted that, Dr. Tandoh has performed excellently so far and his greatest attribute is telling the athletes as it is, he doesn’t hide information and that is what athletes want.
The Secretary of the Team Lagos athletes, Oluwatosin Solademi, also said that the administration of Dr Tandoh as Chairman of the Lagos Sports Commission has brought greater development to sports in the state.
“Until date he has performed excellently well with the help of the sports-loving Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
“Sports facilities in Lagos now are better than before, a situation which attracts other states to come to Lagos to train for major competitions.
“For the first time in history, Team Lagos athletes were paid up-to-date at the National Sports Festival in Abuja.
“If you ask the other athletes they will tell you the same thing that, the best we have got has been under the chairmanship of Dr Tandoh.
“He doesn’t hide matters concerning athletes’ funds, if there is any mix up, he calls the associations secretaries to clarify. With Dr. Tandoh, Lagos athletes are having a good time and if you ask the athletes to vote for him, he would at least get 80 percent of yes votes.”
It was gathered that, the only people who are complaining about the leadership of chairman are the contract coaches whose contract expired on December 31, 2018. Their anger is that as they have been out of contract, they have not being getting their monthly grants and salaries.
“This is the cause of our anger, and that is why we have been protesting against the chairman.
“We don’t have money to feed our family. Our contract expired in December 2018 and it is yet to be renewed, we were told the renewal is in the hands of the governor.
“It was written in our contract that it expires on December 31, 2018, but we were not given any letter telling us that our contract is no longer needed, if this has not been done, the Commission should keep paying us.
“It was only last week that, we gathered that the chairman is working on a fresh contract for all coaches such when approved, it would take care of the salaries from January to May 2019, the period when they were out of contract since they have been coaching the athletes,” one of the coaches said.