Over 500 secondary school students set for Lagos Rugby inter-school championship

Over 500 secondary school students are set to take part in a cadet rugby championship organised by, an NGO known as Ibudo Rugby Association in partnership with the Lagos State Government.

According to the organisers, the two-day event which begins on Wednesday 18 October was created to foster the influence of the sports and groom interested youngsters.

The event is meant to feature boys and girls in the state from either the two age groups 15 or 17 years.

The chairman of the Ibudó Rugby Association, Michael Ogunbiyi said the core reason for the competition is to showcase the numerous talents at the grassroots interested in the fast-growing rugby sports.

He made this disclosure while speaking with a set of reporters on Sports Media Empire, a closed WhatsApp group.

He said: “It’s more a case of showcasing the talent in Lagos State. Ibudo Academy has held tournaments before for the schools. This time we thought it would make a greater impact to have the 2 age group categories showcase in both boys and girls categories.”

Rugby prepares kids mentally and physically

Mr Ogunbiyi while answering questions about the popularity of the sport noted that Rugby is fast becoming influential as a result of its importance in society amongst its players.

“I believe Rugby is one hell of a sport and prepares kids for just about anything in life if they take it seriously. It’s a hugely tactical game and is a major for providing skills for life. I mean communication, teamwork, strategy, and defence (a responsibility of every player). Also, there are opportunities for the best players to make a career out of it,” the Ibudó Rugby Association chairperson highlighted.

Over 500 secondary school students set for Lagos Rugby inter-school championship

However, Mr Ogunbiyi bemoaned that the lack of activities has limited the influence of sports in society in recent times.

“Grassroot is key. I totally disagree that it isn’t growing in popularity.

“It’s a question of awareness. Also what has been amiss till now is regular activity for the kids. That has changed now.

“Schools in Lagos are queuing up to sign on. And across the country the same. But without regular activity, kids just dabble for a little and move on.

“The aim would be to have the game as part of the curriculum and optional for kids to enrol.

“By the time kids are able to play on regional and international competitions the uptake will be even greater.

“For now people don’t see the opportunity in it. So our job is to ensure pathways are created.”

Making pathway

With the current problem, Mr Ogunbiyi then added that the goal of his association is to fill the missing piece for the sport.

“The aim would be to have the game as part of the curriculum and optional for kids to enrol.

“By the time kids are able to play in regional and international competitions the uptake will be even greater.

“For now, people don’t see the opportunity in it. So our job is to ensure pathways are created.”

Funds are key

Meanwhile, Mr Ogunbiyi addressed that funding is essential in sustaining the sports.

“But like all things funds are required. Ibudo Rugby Association is a not-for-profit and relies on donations and support.

“It’s all a work in progress. But the main thing is that there must be regular activity. Till now in Lagos, it’s only for National Youth Games (NYG) that rugby existed for kids.

“Not every event has to be big. We have done mini-tournaments with just three to four schools, and even friendly matches between two schools.

“Ibudó has a presence in Ogun and Port Harcourt and has a few schools there. We would eventually organise interstate tournaments. And with support from fans, sports ministry and the rugby governing bodies we would like to organise a national schools tournament,” Mr Ogunbiyi concluded.’’