By Tayo Ogunseye
Lovers of extreme sports recently converged at the National Stadium, Lagos to celebrate “Go BMX Day” as a way of creating awareness for BMX Cycling which became a competitive event at the 2020 Summer Olympics held last year in Tokyo.
Participants displayed some daring and at times, extreme stunts to the excitement of the audience who were being treated to a first time showpiece of such actions at close range.
Before now, such scenes were limited to the social media.
Winners would emerged at the different levels of competition in the BMX cycling, Skating and rollerblading.
Pulling the proverbial strings in the background was Temitope Solomon, the pioneer of extreme sports in Nigeria.
He and his enthusiastic crew moved around the open space that was converted to an appreciable arena and ensured all went well as the audience marvelled.
Among the invited guest watching was the Ministry of Youth and Sport Development Liaison Officer, Lagos Annex Mbora Ikana.
BMX cycling as an Olympic sport is yet to get some recognition in a country like Nigeria where passion and talents abound.
Speaking on the importance of the colourful show, Solomon revealed that the event was used to commemorate “Go BMX Day” which is celebrated on every July 20.
“This day actually is a day to celebrate this sport all over the world. July 20th is a day all riders all over the world come together to celebrate this day by organising an event having different jams and all. So it’s been a very long time. I’ve been like looking forward to having this happen here in Nigeria and I just took that step of courage towards the very first one. It was successful the second one.”
He stated that raising the status of BMX Cycling, rollerblading and rollerskating among participants in the country required facilities and funding which are needed to prop them up for bigger events like the National Sports Festival and the Olympics.
“For the Olympics, which is coming up in 2024, because all what we’re doing now is just trying to also build that confidence in them. Also give them that platform where they can express themselves and just be what they want to be with the bike.”
Chairman of Lagos State Roller Sports Association who is also the national Secretary, Philip Oyede said he was elated that Lagos State has once again proved to be the home of extreme and fitness sports in the country.
He commended efforts at raising the profile of the sports with events which tallied with a global one like the “One BMX Day” as he urged brands, including individuals and corporate institutions to exploit the uniqueness of these sports.
“There is a Championship in Egypt between September and October. We need sponsors. We need the government to support us. We need our recognition.”
Temitope Lateef who once rode a bicycle from London to Lagos as a way of creating awareness also said he was fulfilled with the outcome as fitness sports is a convergence point for people from all works of life.
At the end, some participants who won cash prizes thanked the organisers for the event which is capable of preventing youth from crime and laziness.