Monday, June 22, 2009


I love the University of Lagos (UNILAG) for all the most obvious reasons so many people love her- its academic and social vibrancy, as well as its ability to always be the first to break new ground. The rave of the moment is the exciting 1st Nigerian campus marathon, taking place June 24th, organized by the HKHE UNILAG students’ sports forum in conjunction with African Youth initiative on Crime prevention.

On a personal note, my interest in this event is stemmed in its significant role in closing the yawning gap between the students and staff of the institution. “Most lecturers and students have this master-slave relationship,” said Chris Ibe, the pioneer of the event. Thus, the programme is aimed at fostering a community where students will be able to relate freely with their lecturers on the positive light of Mentor-Mentee relationship. Dr. Adeyemi Awopetu, the staff adviser to the programme, said that the event would also create an avenue for new talents to be unleashed for the world of marathon that is currently being dominated by athletes from Kenya and Plateau state. “Exercise is a difficult pill to take…but we have to exercise to increase our fitness level and live longer.” In his view, the programme will achieve so much if embraced and sustained.

Meanwhile, Dr. Grace Otinwa is a keen advocate for youths to be engaged positively, thus her support for the event. “We encourage youth participation in active lifestyle as a means to meaningfully engage them.” She defined an active lifestyle as a lifestyle that is engaged in physical activity at least 30minutes to one hour everyday. “Our body is designed for movement, thus you have to move by way of walking, jogging, or running in order to alleviate diseases.” Fitness is a requirement for productivity and longevity. She also hopes that the students will be challenged to eschew cultism and other social vices and embrace activities that will contribute to their social, spiritual and mental growth and development.

Prof HOD Longe, the dean of student affairs, who threw his weight behind the concept did not hide his enthusiasm about being the first school to hold such event, “It is a noble initiative, and within the context of University, we have never had such an event in Nigeria.” He said. “Everything is not work, work, work! Fitness is very important because you are healthy when you are fit.” Now you have one more reason not to loathe UNILAG- she is a good at being the first to do credible stuff!

No comments: