By Ikenna Nwokedi
Patrick Estate Onyedum, Chairman, Anambra State Sports Development Commission (ASSDC) has commended student athletes for their impressive and eye catching performances during the zonal stages of the ongoing Anambra School Sports Festival held on Friday, 9th and Saturday, 10th June 2023 at the three Senatorial zones.
Onyedum expressed his delight that the grassroots is filled with budding talents who have what it takes to be national stars and world beaters in few years to come if properly groomed and nurtured. He also commended sports officials for their selfless service and thanked God for a clement weather during the two-day exercise.
Onyedum said: “I must say that am highly impressed with what I have seen so far from my visits to the venues of the different sporting programme of the ongoing Anambra School Sports Festival. On Friday, I was at Alex Ekwueme square Aroma and City Sports club Amawbia to watch our children perform in Basketball and Tennis respectively. Today, I am at St. Stephen Parish Ifitedunu to see the U-13 Boys play as well as the Volleyball event happening at the St. Mary’s High School Ifitedunu.
“This is the inaugural edition and I must tell you that we have laid a good foundation, as from next year the organization and rated performance from the student athletes will be better as we will leverage on the experience we have had organizing this robust sports programme.
Onyedum eulogized the State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Prof. Charles Soludo for his immense support to the Commision’s Sports Programmes and providing the right platform for the teeming youths of the state. He also revealed that the School Sports Festival is also an avenue to fish out talents that will represent the state at the upcoming National Youth Games later in the year.
“I want to in a special way thank Mr Governor, His Excellency, Prof. Charles Soludo for his support to sports by way of approving the Sports Solution Initiative which birthed the Anambra School Sports Festival. The Governor has also given the nod for this programme to become an annual event and we want to thank him for graciously giving the nod for sports development at the grassroots level.
“The Anambra School Sports Festival has provided a platform for us to spot out exceptional talents that will form the nucleus of the various sporting sides that will represent our dear state at the upcoming National Youth Games later this year and also for the National Sports Festival come next year. We have scouts scattered across various centres who are saddled with the responsibility of fishing out talents and I must tell you that they have confirmed to me that Anambra is endowed with amazing talents,” Onyedum stated.
The zonal eliminations of the ongoing Anambra School Sports Festival which was concluded on Saturday across the three senatorial districts with finalists emerging to represent their Local Government Areas at the state finals scheduled to hold at the Awka City Stadium and Alex Ekwueme square Aroma from Wednesday, 21st to Saturday, 24th June 2023.
The 2-day zonal eliminations series were staged at Nnewi High School, Nnewi and Isuofia Community Secondary School for Anambra South Senatorial District while Chuba Ikpeazu Stadium Onitsha and Otuocha Stadium Aguleri hosted Anambra North Senatorial District.
The Anambra Central hostilities were staged at Nnamdi Azikiwe Secondary School, Abagana; St Mary’s High School; St. Stephen’s Parish ground in Ifitedunu and Sports Club Amawbia.
In male football, Christ the King College, Onitsha looks set to reenact its World Academical feat at Dublin 1977 as they cruised to the final in both U13 and U17 boys categories.
The school joined to represent Anambra North after its U13 team walloped Community Primary School, Okpoko 7-0. in a game that was meant to determine the first placed team while U17 after succumbing 0-1 to Washington Boys.
The narrow loss did not remove the shine and quality from the thrilling contest with C.K.C appearing comfortable with the opportunity to mount the big stage of the state final
In female football Urban Girls Secondary School, Onitsha defeated Bethlehem Girls College, Fegge 1-0 in the U17 category to advance to the state finals as representatives of Anambra North.
In Nnewi, Queen of Angels beat Community School Ebenator 5-4 on penalties to qualify for female U17 football while Nnewi High school defeated Divinity Secondary school 3-1 in male category to emerge from Anambra South.
In Isuofia, Christ Redeemer College Amesi beat CSS Oko by 4-2 via penalties in female U17 football while their male counterpart joined in the state finals after beating Community Secondary School Awgbu by 2:1.
In basketball, Nnewi High school advanced to the state finals after walking over their opponents that didn’t show up for the final.
In female volleyball, Holy Child Secondary school Isuofia and Community Secondary School Isuofia advance to the state finals to represent Anambra South.
In male volleyball, Volleyball Holy Child Secondary school Isuofia beat Community Secondary School Isuofia 3-2 to represent Anambra south zone in the state final alongside
In Anambra Central, Bubendorf Grammar School Adazi-Nnukwu and CSS Akwaeze progressed in the male volleyball event while, Community Secondary School Akwaeze and Rosa Mystica High School Agulu advanced in the female category.
Don Bosco College Obosi and Bubendorf Memorial Grammar School Adazi-Nnukwu are through to U17 male basketball final while Mater Amabilis College Umuoji advanced to the final unopposed.
In the U-17 male finals Bubendorf Memorial Grammar School Adazi-Nnukwu defeated Capital City Secondary School Awka 8-7 via penalty shootouts to make it to the final.