…over nine outstanding players to be drafted into Bendel Insurance, Edo Queens
The maiden edition of the Edo Governor’s Cup came to a close, on Friday, amid pomp and pageantry with Idia College and Benin Technical crowned as champions of the secondary school football tournaments, in the female and male categories respectively.
Idia College emerged winners of the female category after humiliating their rival, Usugbenu Technical College in a 7-0 thrashing, while Benin Technical College defeated Ogbona Secondary School 2-1 to take the glory of the male category of the competition.
Following their exceptional performance in the field of play, over nine players from the secondary school teams are to be drafted into the state-owned professional football clubs, Bendel Insurance and Edo Queens.
Speaking after the grand finale of the tournament at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, the Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu reaffirmed the government’s commitment to grassroots sports development.
According to him, “This is part of our plans to revive sports in the state, especially by discovering young talents.”
He further noted, “We have identified over nine players from the male and female teams that played today who are potential fielders for Bendel Insurance and Edo Queen Football Clubs.
“What we want to achieve is to catch them young at the grassroots level and one important thing about the education week is showcasing not just the knowledge but also that beyond the knowledge, there is a need for physical wellbeing. We are using their physical mentality to stabilize their academic pursuit.
“We have decided that a knowledge-driven economy must be followed with digital learning and that is what we are giving the school.”
Speaking on the team’s performance, Shaibu added, “Watching these young ones today with their style of football, education is reflected and by the grace of God, we are seeing a new generation of young men and women that will not only do well in education but also do well in sports.
“At the end of the day, what we want to achieve is for them not to just be medical doctors and lawyers but want some of them to represent this country in various sports, and at the end of their career, they will return back to their profession which they studied in school.”
On her part, the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Osa-Oviawe, noted, "Last year, we were placed on marching order to restart sporting activities in our schools. That is why every Wednesday across Edo State, sporting activities are taking place and on Fridays, we have extracurricular activities. We made today one for our students to come and showcase their talents."
For the competition, Benson Osarumense of Idia College and Osagioduwa Lawrence of Benin Technical College clinched the golden gloves in the female and male categories respectively, while Ogbonnaya Onuchukwu of Idia College and Adeniran Yusuf of Benin Technical College won the golden boots in the female and male categories of the tournament.