News Update

Washington Memorial Grammar School Onitsha Emerges Champion at Anambra School Sports Festival

By Ogochukwu Nwaokafor

Washington Memorial Grammar School Onitsha, has emerged winners at the U17 Football Event of the Anambra School Sports Festival held at Awka Township Stadium recently. They beat Bubendorf Memorial Secondary School, Adazi, 4-2 in a penalty shootout after the regulation time ended barren.

In a match decided earlier, Uncle Ralph de Great Secondary School emerged winners of the U13 Football Event (male) after stunning their fellow finalists, Eri Primary School 3-1 in an entertaining game played at same 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 second  half could not give the needed turnaround.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Governor Chukwuma Soludo noted that the event was the 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 benefits, adding that his administration would adopt a bottom-up approach to the development of the sector.

Soludo said it was a new era for sports development in Anambra, noting that it was more than 10 years since that kind of competition took place in the state. This was even as he described sports as a major pillar of his administration.

‘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,’ Soludo disclosed.

‘So, as you engage in sports, we encourage you to take your studies seriously. Congratulations to all of you, especially the local governments, schools and students that won in special ways,’ he said.

In the same vein, Patrick-Estate Onyedum, chairman of the Anambra State Sports Development Commission, thanked Soludo for approving and funding the festival after more than 10 years of its being moribund.

Onyedum said the Schools Sports Festival was an addition to the successes of the Commission within the nine-month period he had steered activities in the Anambra sports sector.

He said the festival, which started on May 17, began with about 17,000 students from about 610 primary and secondary schools which progressed through community, local government area and zonal elimination stages.

According to him, outstanding student athletes from the competition would go on to represent Anambra at the upcoming National Youth Games which will hold in September this year, as well as the National Sports Festival to be hosted by Ogun State next year.

‘Scouts of local and foreign origins have been able to spot some talents with sporting potentials, these can go on to become great sports personalities in the nearest future,’ Onyedum said.

‘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 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.