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……..As Oyebanji harps on Importance of Sports in the Basic Education Sector.

Ekiti SUBEB Chairman, Prof Femi Akinwumi presenting Gold Medals to Members of the Osun State football team , Winners of the football event at the just concluded BESS Competition in Ado-Ekiti

As part of concerted efforts to identify sporting talents at a tender age as well as producing all round pupils that will be globally competitive in both academics and sports, primary schools sports talents from Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun Lagos and Èkiti States have converged in Ado-Ekiti for the maiden edition of the 5-Day Basic Education Schools Sports (BESS) Competition for the
South West Geopolitical Zone of the country.

Addressing participants and officials at the grand finale of the competition held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ekiti State Governor , Mr Abayomi Oyebanji expressed support for the Basic Education School Sports Programme designed by Universal Basic Education Commission and State Universal Basic Boards for identifying budding sports talents at a tender age especially at the basic education level which conforms with the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) international convention on the Child Rights Act, International convention on the right of persons living with disabilities and other relevant conventions.

Governor Oyebanji who was represented by the Executive Chairman of Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board, Prof. Femi Akinwumi, stated that the relevance of the programme is to keep the learners’ mind and body healthy which in turn indicates the importance of sports in the basic education curriculum.

Mr Oyebanji said that the aim of education is all round development of mental, moral and physical growth noting that sports is not just for recreation as it also helps develop self-confidence and courage of learners’ through engagements and participation which would in turn teach learners’ the importance and quality of team work.

He stressed that sports could be used as a veritable tool to promote education, increase school enrollment and retention of school age children while also ensuring unity among them, irrespective of ethnicity and religion.

Oyebanji urged participants to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the competition for the promotion of their mental and physical health as well as for the marketing of their God given talents to the world.

He charged them to continue to participate in sports and get motivated to forge ahead in life and have nice career options in future as well as earn name and fame for themselves as well as their States and Country.

The Governor called for more support from various stakeholders towards development of schools sports, urging the participants to maintain healthy competition among themselves as a combination of sports with academic studies helps promote a better future and spirit of global competitiveness among the pupils.

He promised that his administration would continue to employ available resources to promote the BESS program and collaborate with UBEC to develop school sports programmes.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Hamid Bobboyi who was represented by the UBEC Southwest Zonal Director, Dr Aishat Abdul stressed the importance of the programme to include promoting holistic development of learners and specifically to discover hidden talents in them in sporting activities.

Dr Bobboyi described the program as one of the strategies aimed at ensuring Nigerian learners in basic education subsector irrespective of their background and increase sporting opportunities.

Bobboyi stated that the essence of the competition does not only hinge on overall progress of the Nigerian children who are the hope for the future generations but also to ensure they are opportune to actualize their full or optimum potentials.

He noted that for the past few months, learners from the basic schools have participated in broad range of sporting activities at their various school, LGEA and State levels before the zonal competition in Ekiti.

According to him, the hosting in Ekiti has in no doubt provided the participants with opportunities to increase their knowledge, physical, social and health skills indirectly improving their cognitive, effective and psychomotor domains.

Dr Bobboyi used the opportunity to appreciate Governor Biodun Oyebanji for his deep passion for education and immense contributions in providing enabling environment and support towards the successful hosting of the event.

He also appreciated all Governors from the 5 other southwest states ( Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and Lagos), Chairmen of SUBEBs and all stakeholders across the nation.

In his welcome address, the Ekiti SUBEB Chairman, Prof. Femi Akinwumi represented by the Board Permanent Secretary, Mr. Afolabi Adebiyi described the uniqueness of the competition to raising the standard of sports, particularly among the youngsters.

Prof. Akinwumi stated that the programme has in no small measure increased the physical and mental ability of the pupils and advised parents/guardians to release their wards to participate in sports.

He noted that sports and other physical activities improve individual’s focus, discipline, concentration, social participation and sportsmanship. He further said that it enhances all round development, help to shape their personalities and removes mental exhaustion.

Akinwumi described sports and games as integral parts of the school syllabus to make education more interesting, enjoyable and tension free, stating that it is the reason UBEC has deemed it fit to design among its programmes the Basic Education School Sports.

The SUBEB boss used the opportunity to appreciate Governor Oyebanji for providing the counterpart funds to implement and execute all UBEC intervention programmes in the State, including the BESS program.

He noted that the State government recently procured world class sporting equipments for public primary schools to promote sports activities and development in the primary and junior secondary schools.

Prof. Akinwumi reiterated the commitment of the Oyebanji led administration to the development of basic education, stating the support and approval to host the maiden edition of the programme as it is an achievement for Ekiti SUBEB to set a pace for others to emulate and build upon.

He also appealed to stakeholders to support the school’s sports programme by providing the enabling environment for it to thrive.

The event featured athletics and football competitions and the highpoint was the finals of the football competition in which Osun State football team defeated Ekiti State football team by 2 goals to nil, while Ogun State defeated Lagos State to claim the 3rd spot.

Ondo State emerged as the overall winners on the medals table , with Ogun as runner up, Osun in 3rd place, Ekiti in 4th followed by Lagos and Oyo in 5th and 6th place respectively.

Trophies, medals and prizes were presented to winners and runners up at the end of the competitions.

Posted in Ekiti State News Bulletin
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