Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday mandated all primary and secondary schools in the state to get enlisted in the state’s annual football competition as failure would attract sanctions.
Okowa gave the charge at the finals of the Zenith Bank Delta Headmasters’ Cup 2021 which was held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, in Asaba.
The competition saw the Valleystream British School, Sapele, emerging winner of the third edition after a 2-1 defeat of Ogbe Primary School, Effurun.
While Destiny Group of Schools, Ughelli, defeated Royal Academy Primary Ogwashi-Uku 9-8 on penalty shootout after full time to emerge third in the tournament.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the competition was sponsored by the Zenith Bank in partnership with the state government.
The governor, in his address, lauded pupils commitment, tactical and skillful play at the pitch and commended their schools and coaches for entrenching such skills and training on them.
He also thanked the Zenith Bank management for their social corporate responsibility in the area of sponsorship of the year’s Headmaster’s Cup and the Principal’s Cup in the state.
“I am glad that what we started in 2019 is still alive. This is the third edition of the Headmasters Cup and this year’s edition is sponsored by Zenith Bank Plc. The bank has been the main sponsor of the Principal’s Cup and we are grateful to them.
“This sports will help to develop our children physically, mentally and instill discipline and cooperation among our children.
“It is our intention to ensure that we catch them young but beyond the competition itself it has helped to build relationship and friendship and also on Nov. 30, we are going to have the finals of the Principals’ cup.
“We have done well as a state in the various sports competitions nationally.
“And I want to use this medium to encourage the head of the various schools, particularly those that have not enrolled, that in subsequent competitions, it is important that all schools register for the competition.
“This is important to give the children the opportunity to expose themselves. So, the commissioner for education should pass this information to all schools that henceforth all schools will register for the competition.
“I may be forced to sanction any school that does not register because we want all our children to participate in this competition and we have promised that the winners of the competition will go home with a school bus,” Okowa said.
While congratulating the winners, the governor said that his administration would continue to support the sports sector and also sustain the development of other sectors within the limits of available fund.
In his remarks, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Group Managing Director, Zenith Bank, represented by Mr Lucky Ighade, Executive Director of the Bank, assured of the organisation’s ready to sustain the competition as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to the state.
According to him, these competitions have been identified as a way to help the youths identify their potentials in life.
“A total of 497 public and private primary schools participated in this edition with the emergence of Valleystream British School, Sapele, and Ogbe Primary School, Effurun in the finals”.
While urging the stakeholders to sustain the completion, he thanked the governor for giving the bank the platform to deliver on the projects; the Headmasters’ and Principals cups in the state.
On his part, Chika Ossai, Commissioner for Primary Education, said that the state government has been responsible for the provision of the 18-seater bus for the winners prize.
According to him, the ministry will start early enough on preparation for the fourth edition to enable the ministry accommodate all schools in line with the governor’s pronouncement today.
“I am very optimistic that out of the 1,333 public primary schools we have in the state, more than 70 per cent registered for the competition, we encourage the private schools to also register”.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of medals and cash prizes to all the four teams.
Valleystream British School, Sapele, went home with the winners prize of 18-seater school bus and a cheque for N1 million while Ogbe Primary School, Effurun, received a cheque for N750,000.
The third and the fourth place teams got N500,000 and N300,000 respectively at the end of the competition.
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