Olabisi Joseph of the NSSF, has called on corporate brands to emulate Maltina by supporting school sports following the conclusion of the maiden edition of the Maltina School Games in Lagos on Tuesday.
The competition which lasted for about a month involved four states: Lagos, Anambra, Kano and Abuja; representing the three major ethnic groups of the Federation. Schools were involved from the local government level up to the state level with state winners all converging in Lagos for the national final at the Yabatech Sports Complex.
Having successfully organised the pilot edition of the tournament, Olabisi Joseph said “Being the maiden edition with Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Anambra; I’ll rate it highly but there’s always room for improvement.
“From what we’ve seen, it’s fantastic and the kids are excited about it. We hope in the next edition we will have a larger house and that it will be bigger, that’s why each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were represented in the march past.”
On the performance of the students she said “Even from the local government level, we’ve witnessed great display of talents. This games has been a great platform for the kids to showcase their talents and if not for this event we will not know that we have kids in the school system who can run the times we’re seeing.
“For each of the kids we have their records, we have their biometrics and we will package all the data and send it to the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Olympic Committee. It is expected that they will be nutured by the national coaches and in the next few years we will see these kids running for Nigeria and doing us proud,” she added.
“That is why we are starting at this age were they are young, energetic and can be nutured to stardom. For what we have seen here I’m excited and look forward to the next edition with more schools and participation.”
With Maltina putting their resources behind a worthy cause, the NSSF President had nothing but praise for the Nigerian Breweries brand while also calling other well meaning brands operating in Nigeria to follow suit.
“About the Maltina brand – our sponsors, they’ve been wonderful. We should also expose the kids to other sports and for us at the NSSF we want to ensure that we touch all the sports and that is why we want to spread the tournaments to other sports aside athletics; hence we want to say a very big thank you to our sponsor Maltina for their support and also to call on other corporate brands to come on board let’s join hands to change the lives of these children who might take to social vices if we don’t engage them now.”
She then goes ahead to talk about the numerous and unquantifiable benefits of engaging these kids to Nigeria as a whole.
“School sports is a wonderful way to engage them. It improve their health and well-being, it will help them physically and mentally. Research has shown that it stimulates learning and it will help build their character. From participating in school sports they will learn about determination, discipline and team work.
“Teams that are here from Anambra, Kano and the FCT they’ve had some form of friendship and bonding. There’s no barrier in sports and you won’t see them say I’m Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa. As far as they are concerned they are participating in Maltina School Games and that’s what we want because it will foster peace and unity. So we call on corporate organisations to please come on board and help us move school sports forward,” Joseph concluded.