Kokawa is a traditional wrestling. This Nigerian traditional kind of sport has close connection with the traditional customs

Abiola Ogunbiyi, Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Sports Association, on Monday urged Lagos residents to embrace traditional sports for improved mental alertness.

Ogunbiyi gave the advice at the inauguration of the state sports association boards at Teslim Balogun Stadium Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ogunbiyi was inaugurated as the Chairman Traditional Sports Association along with some other 39 sports association Chairmen and members.

She called on the residents to carryout research each of the sports, learn the rules, get the materials and play to improve their health.

According to her, traditional sports should be given its pride of place to create and strengthen unity amongs, t Nigerians and drive tourism.

He said: “The traditional sports are: Ayo, Langa, Kokowa, Dambe and Abula. We should embrace and promote traditional sports because they are peculiar to us; they suit our nature and culture as Nigerians.

“Each of the sports has health benefits; Ayo improves your sense of mental alertness and makes you undergo a thought process which most people do not engage in again.

“Kokowa is like wrestling, It tests your speed, stamina, strength and dexterity.

“Abula like volleyball strengthens team building helps you to pay attention to details.”

Ogunbiyi said that the association would engage in creating awareness, talent hunt and nurturing of athletes at each local government area, community, and schools based on traditional sports.

“We cannot propagate this alone, we will also engage volunteers who can help us promote and grow the sports amongst Lagos residents.

“The state has created the enabling environment and we will ensure people embrace it for their wellbeing.”

Ogunbiyi, who doubles as a tour operator said that traditional sports were well embraced in the Francophone countries, thus creating content for the growth of sports and tourism.

He said: “We will take gradual steps toward attracting international tourists to the state with traditional sports as the focus.”

She also said efforts would be made to ensure private schools within the state embrace the sports like the public schools had done over the years, to ensure early grooming of children’s talent.

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