Management of the 2013 Shell/NNPC U-18 secondary school football competition winners, Purple Krown College, Enugu, has appealed to Enugu state government and philanthropists in the country for financial assistance to enable them travel to London as Nigeria’s representatives in the forthcoming King of England’s cup scheduled to take place in September this year.
Purple Krown College, it would be recalled defeated Government College Abuja, to emerge champions in this year’s finals of the youth soccer tournament which took place few months ago in Lagos state.
Addressing sports writers yesterday in Enugu shortly after the official presentation of 2. 5 million naira cheque to the school by officials of Shell/NNPC, elated Director of the college, Mr.Wale Alao, said if given all the necessary support, “purple Krown College will not disappoint Nigeria in the forthcoming Kings cup coming up in September in far away London”.
He said since inception, the school, had continued to accord sports top priority, because it remained a veritable and unifying tool in any society, including Enugu state and Nigeria in general.
Alao, who dedicated the prestigious trophy to God and the boys, hinted that it was the first time the school was participating in the glamorous youth soccer fiesta, assuring that in the nearest future, it would produce footballers that would take over from ageing national players.
“As a sports loving person, I will continue to do my best in promoting sports development in Enugu state, and that is why we are also in dare need of financial assistance to enable us have our own permanent site”, he stated.
Regarding the London outing the Director said, preparation was on top gear, adding that the event would further go a long way in exposing the boys, as the exercise would involved secondary schools across the globe.
Meanwhile, Shell Petroleum Development Company,SPDC, had during the ceremony reiterated its resolve to continue to encourage grassroots sports development in the country, insisting that its investment in the area in the past had produced great players who had won laurels for the country.
The company’s Communications Production Services Manager, Peter Ademu-Eteh said for the past 15 years, the company had kept faith in the vision of getting students engaged in developing both their education and football talents.
While noting that the company had through the age-grade football tournaments helped to prove that it was possible to excel in education while playing football, Ademu-Eteh said participation in the championship had continued to soar among secondary schools in the last 15 years, noting that from about 2000 schools and 60,000 students in 1999 when it commenced it had grown to about 2500 schools and over 75,000 students across the country presently.
He said the NNPC/Shell Cup had continued to provide avenue for the discovery of talents for the various junior and senior national teams in Nigeria, adding that one of the players that won the 2012 African Cup of Nations in South-Africa with the Super Eagles, Ejike Uzoenyi emerged from the NNPC/Shell competition.
Eteh, noted that Uzoenyi of Super Eagles and Rangers FC and had represented Global Secondary School , Onitsha and went on to play for Nigeria in the Ghana-Nigeria Academicals international football tournament sponsored by SPDC and its joint ventures.
He however applauded the support of several stakeholders including the Nigeria Schools Sports Federation, the federal and state Ministries of Sports and Education which had helped the company and its joint ventures to record successes over the years.