About forty ‘talented’ students drawn across five States- Delta, Edo, Lagos, Oyo and Osun are set for resumption and would enjoy new lease of life and careers when the much publicized citadel of learning Lanreleke Sports Academy LSA, situated in Ileogbo, Western Senatorial Districts of Osun State kick-start academic proceedings in October.
Lanreleke Sports Academy (LSA) is a newly established co-educational, fully residential and specialist Senior Secondary School. The pioneer students having been thoroughly screened will enjoy full scholarships and series of opportunities locally and internationally.
While responding to questions posed by newsmen at the Sports Complex of Obafemi Awolowo University the venue of the screening exercise, respected Nigeria football legend who is the consultant to the academy, Chief Segun ‘Mathematical’ Odegbami noted that, admitted kids will be modelled for academic exploits and sporting skills at the arena with arrays of sporting opportunities.
“Ultimately, LSA is a proper grassroots sports development project that takes our needs in local environments into considerations particularly when you have very large population, there’s a need to marry our young ones with opportunities that exist in sports globally.
“The formula to achieve this is to gather kids who are so passionate in sports to start it early in secondary school. This school provides high performance opportunities for students in sports unlike other conventional schools. Seventeen years of potential problems have been dealt with at the academy because of my vast experience of running an academy. World class administrator has been appointed as we are also currently shopping for first class principal and instructors.
“The owner also wants to give children the opportunity they will not find anywhere else, complete scholarship that covers feeding, tuition and some other things. At the end of their 3 year stay, these kids would be ready to conquer the world of academics, sports or even the two together.”
Odegbami who had 46 caps and scored 23 goals for the Nigeria national team which he guided to its first Africa Cup of Nations title in 1980 spoke further about the objectives of the academy.
“The objective is to equip as many children, boys and girls with the opportunity to horn their talents in sports, not only football, while they are getting a good education. The luckiest kids is assured of becoming stars in education and sports. Osun state is very lucky to have a son championing this course. He has given Osun state fifty percent of the opportunities. This will be the biggest co-education institute in Africa,” concluded ‘Mathematical’ Odegbami who was renowned for his speed, skill on the ball and precise crosses from the right wing in his playing days.
Also speaking at the screening centre, the administrator of the Academy, Coach Chike Egbunu informed that, ‘LSA’ is a Nigeria project devoid of tribal sentiments.
“The recruitment process have taken us to five different States, that shows this project is a national project. There’s a foundation who will keep financing this project to ensure its sustainability, both local and foreign partners would soon be welcome on board. Some of our staffs shall be trained abroad solely for this project. It is our duties to make these raw kids stars until then, we will never be satisfied.”
LSA Screening and Selection Committee include, Chief Segun Odegbami, another former Nigerian international Mutiu Adepoju, the School Administrator, Mr Chike Egbunu and top broadcast journalist Toyin Ibitoye.