Channels Kids Cup, Godwin Obaseki and other stories

I grew up at a time and in an environment when playing football, instead of studying was an abominable act. After school hours in primary school, I was occasionally led by the ‘daemons’ in me to spend time playing football with friends at one minuscule field, not far away from my school. I got unlucky most times. I get home very late, scruffy and with no concrete explanation to justify my fatal action. What happened afterwards, they say is history.

Proceeding to a boarding school for my secondary school gave me some space to express myself. This time, I wasn’t a footballer — my two left legs and my lack of stamina back then wouldn’t let me fulfil my dreams of being a player. I decided to make lemonades out of lemons. I organised football competitions. I recollect vividly how I would sell forms to 16 teams, and with the support of some strategic partners, categorise them in a group of four and set a time-table for the tournament.

The winner gets a trophy made with a disposed bulb and Milk TIN, decorated with silver paper foil found in cigarette packs. I loved the game. I enjoyed watching my classmates play with so much passion. It gave us the opportunity to bond. We spent more time with each other outside the classrooms. It’s been over 7 years since I watched those talented young men on the field of play. One would have thought that they would go on to wear the Super Eagles jersey. Alas, I bet some of them have been caught up in the rat race of surviving in this dungeon called Nigeria. That is behind us now.

Looking into the future, some years ago, Channels TV launched the Channels Kids cup, a project for kids between the ages of 7 and 13 years old (they must be in primary school). This is a bold step to discovering, promoting and developing young, fresh and talented players that will change the Nigeria football in the next few years.

One of the people who have embraced this laudable project initiated by Channels TV founder, John Momoh is Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki. Beyond promises and mere words, the governor continues to prove that he is a man of his words. Obaseki has rolled out plans to revamp the sports sector of the state. As if throwing a challenge to the governor that he is up for a big task, students of Paragon Demonstration School from Edo State are making the state proud at the ongoing Channels International Kids Cup.

The team recorded a victory on the opening day of the tournament. Paragon got the better of X-Planter Primary School from Ikorodu in Lagos by a goal to nothing, courtesy a strike by Orobosa Aghahowa.

Obaseki, through his Chief Press Secretary, John Mayaki commended the lads for a job well done. He also expressed faith in them to bring home the cup.

He said, “We have talents already in the state that we can groom. You can be sure that the state is paying attention to developments in the tournament”

Truth be told, these are good times. Dreams will come true after all. I cannot wait to see these young men in big leagues across the world. Yes, we can!

God bless Nigeria!

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