In his strong determination to revive sporting activities in Delta State, His Excellency the Smart Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, has handed down specific instructions that henceforth any school applying for registration must in addition to other requirements have adequate sports facilities within its premises.

He gave the order in Ozoro at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Delta State Principals Cup Competition held at the 14,000 capacity Ozoro Polytechnic Stadium.

Master Care International School Asaba defeated Idjerhe Grammar School, Jesse to emerge winners in a keenly contested tournament sponsored by Zenith Bank Plc.

According to Gov. Okowa; “there are so much energies in our youths which must be tapped and harnessed so as to enable them attain their desired goals in the game of football and other sporting events.

“We must collectively encourage our future soccer stars by providing facilities and enabling environment for them to shine forth.

“Delta State is committed to engaging our youths productively and it is important that government and corporate organisations must intensify deliberate efforts to assist our potential future world stars in their various sporting career.

“On a serious note, we are no longer going to register schools without, first inspecting their sports facilities, which must be located within the school premises.

“For us in this administration, it is now compulsory for schools to have sports facilities so as to help improve sports activities through which Delta future stars can be discovered.

“The surplus energies in our youths ought to and must be melted out as a veritable means of engaging themselves productively while at the same time earning substantial income through their chosen sporting careers at local, national and international levels.

“My administration is totally committed to engaging our youths in socioeconomic, political and other productive ventures which is why we designed several youths empowerment programmes to enable them acquire skills, develop their mental capacities and become employers of labour.

“We must continue to invest in human capital development and our youths are the major focus. Sports is lucrative which is why Delta State government decided to revive the Principals Cup Competition as a proactive step to discovering future soccer stars.

“We had fun today and it is my wish that the Principal Cup Competition grows bigger and better in the coming years.

“On behalf of the people and government of Delta State, I wish to sincerely thank the organisers especially the major sponsors, Zenith Bank Plc for investing in our youths. I congratulate this year’s tournament winners, Master Care International School for their dogged performance and hope to see you again in future competitions. God bless Delta State.”

In the same vein, the management of Zenith Bank emphasized the need for huge investments in the education sector of our states and national economy, sports and human capital development.

The Chief Executive Officer of the bank who spoke through its Asaba Zonal Manager, Lucky Ighade said sponsorship of the 2017 Delta State Principals Cup Competition is part of the social corporate responsibility of the bank and that its management places special premium on sports because of its immediate and futue multifaceted gains for the nation and society.

He noted that the competition was well organised, adding that Zenith Bank is willing and ready to sponsor future completions in collaboration with Delta State Government.

Ighade commended Gov Okowa and the state government for taking positive result oriented and deliberate steps to engage Delta youths, not only in sporting activities but in order youth programmes incorporated in the SMART AGENDA.

Also speaking, Hon Commissioner for Basic Education, Chiedu Ebie thanked Zenith Bank for partnering with the state government, adding that the smart governor has made it possible for his ministry to excel in sporting activities since his assumption of office on May 29, 2015.

Ebie urged the winners not to relent in their efforts, pointing out that Principals of Colleges in the state and their Coaches must commence early preparations for 2018 competition.

The finals was witnessed by the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborivwori, sports adminstrator and President of Nigerian Football Federation, Mr Amaju Pinnick, Minority Leader of Federal House of Representatives, Hon Leo Ogor, Soccer legends of yester years, top government officials and people from all walks of life.

Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe (EA Communications).

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