Rep Begins Football Talent Hunt

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*Urges govt. to invest more on youth, sports development

Emameh Gabriel

Deputy Chief Whip House of Representatives and member representing Isuikwuato/ Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has began a football talent hunt through her annual football tournament.

Hon Onyejeocha who joined other eminent personalities, including football stars to witness the event, appealed “to governments at all level to invest more on youth and sports to discourage them from engaging in restiveness and social vices, has also advised the youth to embrace sports so that they can be self-reliant and become role models”

This was made known through a statement signed by her media office at the weekend after the conclusion of the tournament which was held at Peace Comprehensive High School, Amuda Isuochi, Abia State

She noted that she was “determined to support sporting activities to promote social cohesion as well as to provide the opportunity for young ones to showcase their talents”, noting that sports in general is a powerful tool for socio-economic empowerment.

She said: “We thank God that we have come to the end of the tournament. Note that the purpose of the tournament is for us to showcase our talents because you don’t know who is watching you and where this will take you to tomorrow.

“You never can tell. This is to encourage you to continue to be actively involved in productive and meaningful ventures to help become role models in the society. You just have to keep yourself busy and be innovative”

“I hope government at all level across the country, corporate bodies and individuals will put more efforts in promoting sports and make it even more attractive to our youths.

“Congratulation to all of you who participated in the competition. We all won. There is no winner and there is no loser. We are family. The competition was designed to bring the best out of you.

“Today you have here with you a successful footballer (Christian Ogbodo) who can help you make contacts when you are found worthy. By this time next year, one of you may be out of the country for professional football, she said.

Onyejeocha assured the youths that before the next competition, she may have completed the ongoing construction of a stadium in one of the communities in her constituency.

“Maybe next year we will be playing on a standard pitch. Our focus is to uplift and empower the youth through sports by boosting sports development, she said.

The tournament which saw the participation of 12 teams, was monitored by former Nigerian international star, Christian Ogbodo.

While addressing them earlier, the former Super Eagle midfielder charged the youths to take advantage of the opportunity the tournament has provided.

He urged them to be hardworking as only passion and dedication can help them fulfill their dreams of becoming professional footballers.

The final of the tournament which was played between Amuda FC vs Ngodo FC, ended 3-2 in favour of Amuda FC.

Various prices were won by the participants. The winner walked away with N1.5m. The runner up went home with N1m and 3rd place with N500. There also consolation prices to all the participating teams.

Individuals were also showered with cash gifts for their outstanding performances.

Highest goal scorer went home with N20,000, most valuable player, N20,000, best behaved coach N20,000 best behave team also went walked away with N20,000 and N20,000 for the best goal keeper.

Leaders of the teams thanked the lawmaker for organising the event which they said would impact positively on the lives of youths in the various communities in her constituency.

While commending the organiser, head coach of the wining team, Mr. Increase Obum, said the tournament has lifted the hopes of a lot talents who partook in the tournament. He also appealed to the lawmaker to continue with the project.

He said, “from what we have seen so far and with the caliber of personalities she invited to manage the event, the participants have been assured that the outstanding ones among them would be encouraged to realise their dreams of becoming football superstars in the future”, he said.


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