The University of Lagos (UNILAG) is set to host the 26th edition of the Nigerian Universities Games slated for March 16- 27th 2022. This was disclosed by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS, at a press briefing on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 inside the hallowed Senate Chamber of the university.
Professor Ogundipe revealed that the university won the hosting right for the bi-annual inter-tertiary games after seeing off competition from the University of Jos, with 76 points as against its counterpart’s 66 points in what he described as keenly contested.
The Vice-Chancellor combed the Nigerian University Games’ (NUGA) history from 1966 when the maiden edition was hosted by the University of Ibadan. He informed the audience that the Ibadan-based institution had hosted the West African University Games, WAUG, a year earlier.
He placed on record the transformational agenda of how the Games had developed further by gaining entry to become a member of the World Federation of University Games in 1970; and in 1974, it became a founding member of the All-Africa University Games Association. He affirmed that NUGA currently boasts of over eighty universities as members of NUGA, both private and public owned institutions.
He expressed hopes that hosting the University Games would enable UNILAG to show to the world, first hand, what the university is capable of as a unique brand. He remarked that visiting athletes and tourists would definitely have an experience that would make them acknowledge that, indeed, UNILAG is the nation’s University of First Choice. He reemphasised the readiness of UNILAG to expose students to all the opportunities that sports can offer.
He responded to the questions on the health concerns of athletes and officials and reiterated that plans are underway to ensuring that the university adequately combats the challenges and hazards associated with the scourge COVID-19, as the university will be home to over 10,000 athletes during the Games. He revealed that the Lagos State Police Command has been contacted to provide additional security personnel to complement that of the university.
The games to feature are sixteen namely: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Chess, Cricket, Football, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Scrabble, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and Volleyball.
Among the Dignitaries at the event were the University Management team; Alumni; Veteran Sports Broadcaster and Founder/ Chairman of Brila FM, Dr. Larry Izamoje and Founder, The Temple company, Mr. Idris, Oloruninbe.