School Sports Festival Ends In Grand Style As Soludo Reiterates Commitment To Sports Up Dev’t
The Anambra School Sports Festival on Saturday wound down at the Awka Township Studium with the U17 male football match between Washington Memorial Grammar School Onitsha and Bubendorf Memorial Grammar School, Adazi-Ani.
Washington Memorial defeated Bubendorf Memorial by 4-2 via penalties after a barren draw.
In a match decided earlier, Uncle Ralph de Great emerged winners of the U13 football event (male) after stunning their fellow finalists, Eri Primary School 3-1 in the entertaining game played at the Awka township stadium.
The winners who showed a scintillating display of skill and strength decided the game in the first half when they netted three goals before the break.
The Aguleri young lads came back more determined in the second half but their goal in the early minutes of the half could not give the needed turnaround.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Gov. Chukwuma Soludo said the event was a beginning of a new dawn for sports development in Anambra.
Soludo who was represented by Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, his Deputy described sports as having immense health, social and intellectual benefit adding that his administration would adopt a bottom-up approach to the development of the sector.
“According to him, it is a new era for sports development in Anambra, it is more than 10 years since we had this type of competition, sports is a major pillar and Mr Governor has said he will adopt a bottom up approach and that is what you are witnessing here.
“I can see the joy and excitement in the faces of our children and even our adults. Sports has health benefits, economic benefits and social benefits. The government is also exploring more areas of benefits.
*So, as you engage in sports, we encourage you to take your studies seriously. Congratulations to all of you, especially the local government, schools and students that won in special ways,’ he said.
On his part, Patrick-Estate Onyedum, Chairman of the Anambra State Sports Development Commission thanked Soludo for graciously approving and funding the festival after more than 10 years of being muribond.
Onyedum said the school sports festival was an addition to the successes of the Commission within the nine months period he had steered activities in Anambra sports sector.
He said the festival which started on May 17 began with about 17,000 students from about 610 Primary and secondary school which progressed through community, Local Government Area and zonal elimination stages.
According to him, outstanding student athletes from this competition will go on to represent Anambra at the upcoming National Youth Games which will hold in September this year and National Sports Festival to be hosted by Ogun State next year.
“Scouts from local and foreign origin have been able to spot some talents with sporting potentials, these can go on to become great sports personalities in the nearest future.
“We will keep an eye on these athletes and monitor their progress because school sports festivals provide a veritable platform for identification and nurturing of potential sportsmen’s and women,” he said.
Vision Secondary School, Nnewi emerged the overall best performing school in the festival while three students went home with three brand new bicycles via raffle draws courtesy of the Chairman of the Sports commission.