By Anne Azuka
Owa Model Primary School, Owa in Ika North-East Local Government of Delta State has emerged champions of the 2023 Zenith Bank Headmasters’ Cup competition, by defeating Ogedegbe Primary School, Warri at the weekend.
The finals which played at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, the state capital saw Owa boys beat their opponents three goals to one during penalty kicks, after a full-time draw of three individual goals.
Owa Primary School, aside winning the medal, went home with a brand new 18-seater bus donated by the state government, and a cheque of N750,000 from Zenith Bank.
The third-place match was won by Destiny Group of Schools, Ughelli, which defeated Ogidi Primary School, Patani, with a two-goal beating.
Speaking at the end of the first half of the game, the State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa said the aim of the tournament, which was to boast school sports in Delta state and catch potential football stars young had been largely achieved.
Governor Okowa, represented at the event by his Deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, reiterated the decision of the state government to continually invest in sports development, which he pointed out had paid off with the wonderful performance of Delta state in national and international pursuits.
The Governor applauded Zenith Bank for maintaining the sponsorship of the competition in the state and assured the financial institution of the constant assistance of the state government in that path.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Basic Education, Chief Sunday Onoriode, said the state government’s interest in partnering with Zenith Bank for the competition was to facilitate the development of grassroots sports in the state.
Chief Onoriode stated that the tournament was aimed at discovering talented children in the game of football and strengthening them to play in the Under-17 football competition.
He pointed out that the Okowa led administration had, over the past eight years, promoted sporting activities as well as created a master plan for the development of grassroots sports, in partnership with the Organized Private Sector.
According to him, the Primary Education arm of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education had left no stone unturned in ensuring that the Zenith Bank Delta Headmasters’ Cup Football Competition met the expectations of the sponsors and other stakeholders in the game of football.
The Commissioner observed that the 2023 edition of the tournament was unique as it was the last the Okowa administration would be involved in, revealing that over 600 primary schools across the state registered for the competition out of which one team would emerge the overall winner.
Onoriode thanked Governor Okowa for his visionary strides in making Delta great through sports and Zenith Bank for the institution’s irresistible support for sports development initiatives in the state.
Also, the Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu explained that the 2023 edition was the second to be sponsored by the bank, describing the competition as the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, which had generated the expected results.
The GMD, who was represented by the Regional Director, Mr. Lucky Ighade, commended the state government for being a collaborator in progress in the sponsorship of the tournament and thanked the competing schools and their officials for their contributions to the success of the tournament.
He congratulations Owa primary school, Owa for emerging the winner of the Zenith Bank Delta Headmaster’s Cup 2023.