By Gloria Ibesi and Ebube Edieh
The Catholic Diocese of Awka has kicked off a sports competition organized for all Catholic Secondary Schools in the Diocese with the theme: “Raise a Decent Schooling and Sporting Generation”, geared towards harnessing the sporting potentials of school children, while giving them opportunity to build a career in sports. The event took place on October 31.
Motivated by the need for the young people to have a healthy body which sustains a healthy mind, the Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, while conducting the Kick Off ceremony held at the Cathedral Stadium, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, explained that in the formation of young people, the holistic, spiritual and corporal must be adequately attended to.
The one month sports festival with the brand name, CADASEC Sports FES 2023, as stated by the organizing committee, began on 17 October at an Intramural Level and is presently at the Regional level taking place in the three regions of the Diocese. The Diocesan level which is the third stage of the sports competition, begins on 9 November 2023, and will be concluded with a grand finale which will take place on 17 November 2023 at Awka City Stadium.
The kick off was accompanied by a total of 4 football matches between 8 secondary schools in the Awka Region.
Similarly, CADASEC Sports FES, 2023, is featuring individual games, such as badminton; goal games, including football and volley ball; athletics, comprising track and field events for both boys and girls, seniors and juniors of all Catholic secondary schools in the Diocese.
Speaking to Fides on some of the aims an objectives of the sports festival, the Director of Sports for Awka Diocese and a technical partner in the programme, Rev Fr Obinna Dike, said, ‘The Church is making a statement through her mission schools that these young children will compete with their real age and it’s a festival because it gives opportunity for greenhorns, those who have not done it before, including boys and girls, to come out and compete.’
He said it would motivate them to have decency and cleanliness in sports and education; to read their books well and excel and also do sports well and excel.
Also Mr Paul Nwokwu, a coach from one of the participating schools, who was present during the occasion as one of the football officials, commended the initiative of the Catholic Diocese of Awka in organizing the sports festival, stating that it was a remarkable move by the Diocese. He however advised schools and individuals to go back to sports as students who were not good in academic work could be good in sports.