The atmosphere in Uromi, the administrative headquarters of Esan North-East LGA of Edo state, was on Thursday branded with an entertaining football match as the second edition of the ULMI Secondary School Football Competition kickstarted.
The first game of the tournament between Young Scholars Academy and Eigbibhalu Group of schools, ended in a disappointing draw after both teams failed to grab a single goal in the both half of the game.
However, Eigbibhalu were able to advanced to the next round at the expense of their opponent after edging out Young Scholars 6-5 in a penalty shootout.
Prior to the opening game, th chairman of
the organisation, Uromi Like Minds Initiative sponsors of the championship, Mr. Sylvester Abumere Ekpen, in a welcoming address recalled that winners of the inaugural edition Buddy Group of schools took home to sun of N100, 000 apart from individual prizes won by the players.
He also reminded the schools that all participating schools have something to go home with as the sum of N15,000 is given as prize for taking part in the inter-secondary schools soccer fiesta
Mr Ekpen said:
”Following the resounding success of the maiden edition of the competition in 2021, there has been increased interest from almost all secondary schools in Uromi/Uzea communities, which together make up Esan North East Local Government Area.”
“The defending champions, *Buddy Group of Schools*, will slug it out with 15 other schools in defense of their title and the right to the coveted N100,000.00 cash prize and the winner’s trophy. In addition to providing kits and other soccer materials to the schools, all participating teams will take home a range of cash prizes from a minimum of N15,000.00 to a maximum of N75,000.00, courtesy of ULMI.”
“Extracurricular activities gives an avenue for strengthening classroom lessons, providing students the opportunity to apply academic skills in real-world situations and context, and thus forms part of a well-rounded up…
“I wish to once again admonish all participating teams in this year’s tournament that winning and losing are only a part of the game. Enjoy the game and play well, then you will be the real winners.”
Also speaking, the head of the main organising committee, (MOC) Vice Chairman of the ULMI, Engr. Sebastine Osita, in his goodwill message to the participating schools, encouraged them to be discipline young players who are expected to compete in the spirit of fair play and showcase their talents according to the rules of the game. He said: “I want to encourage them to put in their best, enjoy the games as they come and ensure everything is done in friendly atmosphere and total adherence to the rules of the game.
“Who knows, there are chances some of them could be spotted by soccer agents for developing programs that could see them taking the game as their means of livelihood, and they could also represent the country in future”.
Meanwhile, Holy Family Academy are today Friday, expected to clash with Ufuah Memorial at 10 am, while Olili Uzea Sec Sch will face Okpere Group of Schools at 12noon.