….. Bayelsa to have a second football team, says Dep. Governor
The Bayelsa State Government on Thursday entered into an agreement with Hideas Plus, a sports consultancy firm which organizes the national principals cup competition among secondary schools in the country.
The welcome development is coming even as government was working towards raising another professional side for the state.
Speaking briefly at the signing ceremony in Government House, Yenagoa, the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the state government was happy with the partnership.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo remarked that youth sports had contributed greatly to the overall sports development and unity of the country, and expressed the belief that the partnership would be a symbiotic one between the firm and the state.
He said the pact provided an opportunity for the state to make steady progress in sports development, noting that Bayelsa wholeheartedly welcome the Principals’ Cup.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo disclosed that the State Government was working towards establishing another football team to brighten the sports fortunes of the state.
Signing the agreement on behalf of the Bayelsa State Government, the Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Daniel Igali, expressed the confidence that the agreement with Hideas Plus Limited would help sustain the sporting fortunes of the state.
Mr. Igali noted that the partnership would ensure that talents discovered in the Principals’ Cup competition are groomed to form the nucleus of the nation’s future teams.
He pointed out that the terms of the agreement made it clear the Bayelsa State Government would not put any funds into the project, as only the firm would scout for sponsorship from the organized private sector for the next three years.
The sports commissioner thanked the Deputy Governor for the effective leadership he had displayed in sports administration since assuming office in the state.
Also speaking, the MD of Hideas Plus Limited, Mr. Tony Pemu, said his sports consultancy firm had organized the Principals’ Cup for the last six years, with Zenith Bank as key partner and sponsor.
Mr. Pemu, who disclosed that they have taken the competition to Delta, Edo, Imo, Ekiti and Akwa-Ibom states, said they had to come to Bayelsa because “the state is a sellable brand.”
He said they plan to take the competition to all the states in the federation, assuring that Hideas Plus Limited would develop a good training pitch for every secondary school which emerges champion in each state and groom the talents discovered through the competition.
In a related development, the deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has expressed satisfaction with the ongoing emergency repair work at the Samson Siasia stadium in Yenagoa.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who was at the sports facility to personally inspect the renovation work ahead of Sunday’s CAF Champions League match between the home side, Bayelsa United FC, and a team from Guinea, said with the pace of work being done, the state would meet its target before Sunday.
He said it has taken several years since a side from Bayelsa participated last at the continental level and expressed gratitude to the Governor , Senator Douye Diri for his hard work commitment to sports development in state.
The deputy Governor expressed the hope that Bayelsa United would once again make the state proud with a good result at the weekend when they take on their Guinean opponents at the Samson Siasia stadium.