Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has said all secondary schools in the state must have provisions for sporting facilities before they can be approved to function.
The governor made this statment at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, during the final ceremony of the Delta State Principals Cup sponsored by Zenith Bank.
According to Governor Okowa, the desire of his administration is for the state to constantly maintain its leading role in sporting activities and that would be achieved through grooming future champions from the primary school levels.
Master-Care International School, Asaba beat Idjerhe Grammer School, Idjerhe, 2-1 to emerge winners of the tournament sponsored by Zenith Bank Plc and played at the 14,000 capacity stadium of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro. Ogbe-Ijaw Grammer School, Ogbe-Ijaw took the third place in the tournament which all the local government areas of the state had schools participating in.
President of Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnic and Nigeria’s professional footballers in the likes of Henry Nwosu, Victor Ikpeba, Victor Agali, Edema Fuludu, Ndubuisi Okoesieme, Ifeanyi Udeze, among others spiced up the event which was also, witnessed by traditional rulers.
“I believe that we have all had fun this afternoon, this is a dream come true, I believe that we will continue in this stead so that the energy of our youths will be used for gainful ventures,” the Governor said, emphasizing, “any school that is applying as a new secondary school must have sports facilities, without that, there will be no registration, because, we have seen some schools tucked into a little space without consideration for sports facilities.”
He expressed joy at the excitement that trailed “the edition of the Principals’ Cup in the state coming after several years; the quality of football we witnessed this afternoon is something we will talk about for a long time to come.”
“We are looking forward to the school sports competitions like we used to have in General Ogbemudia’s administration in the old Bendel State; I want to urge our Principals to take it as a must to annually, organise its sports competition and our local government chairmen must pay attention to sports development,” he stated, reiterating, “we will continue to develop our sports facilities, we will look at how to organise sporting competitions at primary school levels, our dominance in sporting events will remain for a long time to come because, we will always discover talents through these events.”
The Governor also, urged parents to allow their children the freedom to participate in sporting events because, “they (parents) don’t know what their children will be in the future.”
Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Peter Amangbo who spoke through Mr Lucky Bade congratulated winners of the championship, assuring that Zenith Bank would sponsor the sporting championship annually and “will always associate with Delta State government to discover future stars.”
Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education in the state, Mr Chiedu Ebie had earlier, thanked Governor Okowa for encouraging sports development in the state, stating that the benefits of encouraging the youths to be involved in sporting events are enormous.