No fewer than 40 schools are expected to participate in the maiden edition of Faith Academy Mini Secondary Schools Sports Festival, billed to commence in Kaduna June 22.
This was disclosed at the inaugural press briefing held at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Tuesday.
Chairman of the Faith Academy Sports Committee, Nden Emmanuel who spoke on behalf of the Main Organising Committee (MOC), said that the sporting event aimed at giving back to the society, is being organised by the school in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), Kaduna State chapter.
He explained that the two-day sporting event will feature track and field events, racket games and board games.
“We are here as the MOC to kick start preparation for the mini sports festival for secondary schools in Kaduna State. With representatives from stakeholders.
” We are doing this because sports is a vital tool for development of young people.
“The Sports committee of Faith Academy was set up on March 29 this year and went into the planning of this event.
“The event to take place Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June 2018. We have started putting logistics in place.
“It is to feature track and field events. We want to introduce board games like Scrabble and chess, as well as racket games also.
“We hope to invite 40 schools in Kaduna from private and public schools. The festival will also serve as a talent hunt for the state. In sports once you start earlier, the better,” he said.
Emmanuel explained that sports enhances the memory of children and has a lot of benefits.
It also teaches them how to be more bold in whatever they do as well as responsibility. We want to key into the benefits, not just for the schools, but for the state,” he added.
“We are ready to go ahead, the school has given its support. It is solely sponsored by the school,” he stressed.
Fielding questions from newsmen, Principal of Faith Academy Kaduna, represented by the school’s Sports Facilitator, Coach Felix Oseibe said that the school has programmes targeted at all round development of students.
On how to ensure talents developed are not left to waste, he said the government needs to come up with programmes.
“During holidays, the government should assemble athletes and groom them. The ministry and state should also be providing transport subsidy and training kits to athletes. There should be a running programme. There should be games masters refresher courses,” he suggested.
He explained that in his personal capacity, he has a scheme that caters for students talented in sports, courtesy of Coach Felix Academics and Sports Foundation.
“We have kids leaving secondary school, through our foundation, we guide them. Tertiary institutions in Kaduna State should open up and admit students that our foundation is grooming.
University of Ilorin, Uniport are admitting our athletes. ABU and other institutions too should do it,” he said.
In his remarks, the Zonal Coordinator North West, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Olushola Luke, represented by Abdullahi Idris said that at the zonal level, based on mandate of Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, they keep tab on talents discovered.
In his remarks, the Director School Sports Kaduna State, Abel Yakubu said that the state government has plans to host a similar competition.
“We have started arrangements and I told them we have such programmes on ground with the Sports Ministry. Which is expected for July or August. We are already preparing for our own, we are looking at the season because sports like this not done this season. Ours is for a week but theirs is two days. Attendance from public schools depends on the letters written from the organisers. The public schools will feature, but not much of them. We have over 500 public schools and Faith Academy cannot accommodate all of them.
Director Sports Kaduna State, represented by Coach Samaila Usman described the initiative as laudable, assuring that the state government will always key into such noble projects.
“Kaduna is always willing to support any group that is hosting any event. We will support Faith Academy in this event.
“Kaduna government is doing its best in terms of talent development but more needs to be done,” he added.
Also present at the briefing was the Kaduna State YSFON Secretary, Alhaji Abdulrazak Usman.