Sports administrator and brand expert, Toyin Gafaar Bolowotan has taken a bow as the Director General of the Lagos State Sports Commission. This is coming after over four years at the helms of affairs at Nigeria’s topmost sports commission.
Toyin Gafaar Bolowotan who was appointed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in 2019 has in the last four years brought about a reform at the commission which has seen to a turn around in sports in Lagos. His activities saw the return of the Super Eagles, Nigeria’s senior national side return to Lagos 20 years after their last game in the centre of excellence. This was as a result of the improvement made in sporting facilities owned by the state.
Currently, more than ten stadia are being either built or reconstructed in Lagos. This includes Teslim Balogun Stadium which hosted the Super Eagles World Cup qualifying matches.
Toyin Gafaar Bolowotan as Director General of the Lagos State Sports Commission made a total turn around in the institution, focusing especially on staff welfare and the promotion of sports in the state. He further ensured that hitherto forgotten former athletes were absorbed into the state civil service to ensure they make a sensible living after serving the state. Fresh graduates were also employed into the commission as administrators while coaches who have been mere contract staff for several years were drafted into the civil service as full time staff with pensionable remunerations.
Amongst other innovative programs introduced by Mr Bolowotan at the commission is the Lagos Summer Camp which is a holiday training for school children as a means of talent discovery and skills learning for school children. He further ensured that all sports facilities in Lagos are upgraded to modern standard. A visit around Lagos will reveal the over a dozen facility being worked on even at the moment.
He is also a friend of sports journalists whom he referred to as partners in the process of ensuring a progression in Lagos sports. This influenced his facilitation of a brand new hiace bus to the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria , Lagos chapter. He also created new sports associations to ensure that Lagos takes a leading spot in the growth of Esport, cheerleading and netball.
The consummate administrator further initiated the Lagos State School Intervention program to encourage school children willing to combine sports with their academics while the Lagos Keepfit initiative was also introduced to encourage a fitness culture amongst Lagosians.
As his watch at the Lagos State Sports Commission comes to an end, observers believe Toyin Gafaar Bolowotan has served the state and indeed the sports constituency diligently and history will judge him well.