It was a fun-filled moment in Akure the state capital as the Foundation of Wives of Ondo State Officials, FOWOSO, in collaboration with the office of the wife of governor organised a family game tagged ‘Ondo State Crawlers Race competition’ for families selected across the 18 Local government areas of the state.
The programme which was held at Adegbemile cultural centre, Akure featuring couples and their children, was aimed at promoting unity in the Family as part of activities to commence the second FOWOSO Summit slated to hold between 4th and 5th December 2019.
In her keynote address, the wife of the state governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu who initiated the programme affirmed that the competition was conceived to spice up the second FOWOSO Summit which starts tomorrow at the international culture and event centre, The Dome, Akure.
She stated that what the Crawlers race intends to correct was a true reflection of what is happening within families in our society.
According to her, the Crawlers race which targets babies within the ages of 8-11 months was the first of its kind in Nigeria to promote joint parenting and love in the family.
Earlier, the chairperson of the competition, Mrs. Oluwatosin Oladipupo, noted that the role of parenting was challenging and it was observed that men have abandoned the task to women alone, hence the reason for the Crawlers race competition in order to bridge the gap.
She stated that men are often times less concerned with parenting , especially at the early child development and this can reduce the quality of parental care a child receives and can have negative social, emotional and economic impacts on a woman.
She added that the Crawlers race was to foster co-parenting among couples and reduce the number of absentee fathers in the society.
“To increase family bonding, teamwork and respect among couples, to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the child”, she said.
The race which was in two stages had stage one performed across the 18 local government headquarters while the second stage was scheduled to hold at the state capital.
The second stage has 18 participants who were winners of the first stage from all the local government areas of the state.
They were divided into six per group and the first position from each group competed for the final competition.
To discover the closeness of the fathers of the babies with their families, they were made to co-ordinate the start of the race by encouraging their kids to move along the lines and join their mothers on the other side.
At the end of the competition, baby Olukayode Shadrach from Idanre emerged first, baby Ogunsemilore Darasimi from Ilaje, second, while baby Timothy Erastus from Ile-Oluji came third.
Dignitaries at the event included representatives of partners like Access bank PLC, PZ Cusson, Commissioners for Youths and Sport development, Barrister Owanikin, for Women Affairs, Mrs. Titi Adeyemi, Local government and Chieftaincy affairs, Deaconess Lola Fagbemi among others.
Story by Mary Agidi