Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ikotun Girls, Birrel Boys Win GTBank Principals’ Cup Season 6

Ikotun Girls, Birrel Boys Win GTBank Principals’ Cup Season 6


The 2015 GTBank Lagos State Principals cup ended in a grand style at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, with Ikotun Senior Secondary Schopol, Ikotun smashing  Oriwu Model Senior College, Ikorodu in a 3-1 thriller in the female final match to make them champions for the second time in 3 years. The goals were scored by Chinemerem Anselm and Salisu Anuoluwapo (brace) for Ikotun Senior High School and Ikeduba Peace scored the only goal for Oriwu.

 In the male category, first time finalist Birrel Avenue Senior Secondary School, Sabo defeated former champions Keke High School of Ijaye-Agege by 4-2 in the penalty shootout.after after both teams had played 1-1 at regulation time. The goals in regulation time were scored by Daniel Emmanuel for Birrel Avenue and Oseni Sodiq for Keke High. Akeem Oladunjoye of Birrel Avenue Senior Secondary School won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for boys.

The GTBank Lagos State Principals Cup.
Triumphant Ikotun Senior Secondary Schopol, Ikotun.
Victorious Birrel Avenue Senior Secondary School, Sabo, Yaba.
Oriwu Model Senior College, Ikorodu with the second place prize.
Pupils from Keke Senior High School supporting their school team.
Pupils cheering the competing soccer teams.

From 615 teams drawn from secondary schools across 6 districts in Lagos state, Ikotun girls and  Birrel boys have shown that they are unstoppable forces in Nigeria’s grass-root soccer.

The “Smash all Barriers” of the prestigious secondary school tournament is an annual football competition geared towards the development of grass roots football. The discovery of young football talents fostering camaraderie among secondary students as well as helping students actualize their dream of becoming professional footballers.

According to the GTBank CEO, Mr. Segun Agbaje, GTBank is out to create a passion for young ones. His words: “What we set out to achieve for young ones is to create a platform for them to compete, develop and create values and work out a passion for young ones, not necessarily to raise professional footballers. If you look at the attendance today, we are encouraged and we think it’s been a great success. We believe that one of the best places to learn the principles of hard work, competing values, is through sports and if they have those values, we are very sure, they will do well in life.”

For 6 years running, the competition has provided a developmental platform for young talents to be identified, nurtured and contribute immensely to the development of grassroots football.

GTBank MD/CEO, Mr. Segun Agbaje and other VIPs at the finals.
Mr. Segun Agbaje presenting medals to the winning female team Ikotun Senior Secondary Schopol, Ikotun.
Mr. Segun Agbaje speaking to the press.

Agbaje explained that the GTBank Principals Cup game started slowly. His words: “We started the Principals Cups game slowly, and now we have one in Ogun and Port-Harcourt. In order to do things properly, we need take time to invest the right resources, so that many ultimately will see the game getting more interesting. Ogun State Principals Cup is as committed as that of Lagos State. I would like to thank the state governors of both states for their incredible support for the Principals Cup.”

On his part, the Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association and the 1st Vice-President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), emphasized the importance of infusing a national policy to encourage football in youths. His words: “From the boys and girls, we observed the talents among them, but the issue is to harness these talents. The idea is to inaugurate these kind of tournaments and ensure they are infused into the national policy, so that we could have a pathway way which everyone will know and go through. There’s a difference between literate and illiterate footballers, and so we shouldn't be left behind, that’s why we are infusing and trying to balance up education and football.”

 GTBank gave out prizes to winners and runners-up as promised, ranging from N1,000,000 (one million naira) for the winner, to N750,000 for the 1st runner up, N500,000 for the 2nd runner up and N250,000 for the 3rd runner up, accompanied by other offers such as immediate upgrade of sport facilities, including goalposts, balls, goalpost nets and corner flags in their various schools. However, for the girls, Ikotun High School, Oriwu Model College, Government Senior College and CMS Girls Senior Secondary School had these gifts respectively; while for the boys, Birrel College, Keke High School, Ikorodu Senior Grammar School and Ifako Comprehensive High School had these gifts.

Speaking at the event, Salisu Anu an SS2 student from Ikotun High School and Most Valuable Player (MVP) said, “I’m very happy to have helped my school lift GTBank Principals Cup 2015. I really appreciate my parents for standing by me when I started my football career as early as 7 years.”
The young lady who had a brace for the finals, appreciated her parents further in her words. “Thank you for standing by me for the past 8 years while achieving my dreams. I pay rapt attention to both my academics and football, because I know in the nears future, I will be playing for the Super Falcons which I believe will take me to the next level in life as I look forward to playing like my role model, Lionel Messi.”

Salisu Anu an SS2 student from Ikotun High School and Most Valuable Player (MVP).

The CEO, GTBank reiterated that they are happy, because the quality of football has been high, and there hasn't been any cheating so far in this year’s edition.

The bank also complements the Principals Cup tournaments with an annual residential coaching programme known as CAMP GTBANK which was designed to discover, sharpen and cultivate the skills of outstanding talents of the GTBank Lagos State Principals Cup and Master Cup, drawing on the experience of the top coaches from European clubs.

This grassroots career development in the country shows Guaranty Trust Bank Plc is one of the few Nigerian financial institutions that that have maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since it's inception in 1990. The Bank actively supports in classroom and out of classroom educational programmes, infrastructure development, students scholarship and teachers training across Africa.

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