NSSF, Coca-Cola Raise Educational Standards  Using Football

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Coca-Cola has Contributed its own quota towards raising the educational standards of teenagers in Nigeria through its COPA Coca-Cola U-15 Schools Competition. The National President of the Nigerian Schools Sports Federation (NSSF), Mallam Ibrahim Muhammed expressed this opinion during the 2016 COPA Coca-Cola Coaching clinics held in Abuja recently.

 According to Muhammed, President Muhammadu Buhari’s goal for the development of grassroots sports in secondary schools is further supported   by competitions such as COPA Coca-Cola.

 In his words, “The Copa Coca-Cola preliminaries have recently been concluded and the finals in the 32 participating states churned out an impressive turnout of Nigerian dignitaries ranging from elders, royalists, and government officials all coming together to cheer these teens on to victory. The mandate in President Buhari’s administration encourages the marriage of education and grassroots sports in Nigeria to make learning experiences more meaningful. Coca-Cola has obeyed this clarion call to support this mandate through its COPA Coca-Cola Coaching Clinics.”

 Chaired by ex-international footballer, Victor Ikpeba, the North Western Coaching Clinic which held at Junior secondary School Jabi in Abuja comprised Government Secondary School, Chindit, Kaduna; Nagari College, Kebbi; Government Model School, Suleja, Niger; and Government Secondary School, Dange, Sokoto.

 Ikpeba fondly called ‘Prince of Monaco’ trained the U-15 students from the various schools ahead of the three-day Regional finals where Government Model School, Suleja, Niger, emerged as the victors in the North Western region.

 Ex-International Footballer, Victor Ikpeba used the occasion to highlight his belief in the teens and commended Coca-Cola for its continued support to initiatives geared towards youth development in the country.

 “I commend Coca-Cola and the Nigerian School Sports Federation in joining forces to offer these U-15 teens a means of sharpening their skills, competencies, and sensibilities through Grassroots Sports initiative, COPA Coca-Cola. The importance of sports in the upbringing of teens cannot be over-emphasized. As such, the infusion of sports in the lives of these teens provides them an avenue to grow their skills and competences while using the secondary school system to reach out to them.”

 Shedding more light on the coaching clinic, the Prince of Monaco said “From coaching clinics and initiatives such as Copa Coca-Cola, rising football stars are identified. Nigeria teens are blessed with a lot of talent, particularly in football. Football made me who I am today so I take these coaching clinics as my contribution to the development of these teens.”

Speaking on behalf of the company, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Patricia Jemibewon expressed her excitement at the fervour and turnout portrayed by the students at the coaching clinics.

 Jemibewon added that, “Coca-Cola is a firm believer in the holistic development of all Nigerian children and the best way to build the Nigerian teens is to encourage them, hone their skills and help fulfil their aspirations. Copa Coca-Cola is a great platform for this, as it gives hope to these teens, builds their confidence and innate abilities to succeed.”

 The Copa Coca-Cola regional finals in the North Western region had Government Model School, Suleja, Niger emerge as winners of the golden ticket to Lagos for the National finals. The hard-fought win was announced after Niger boys initially lost their first match to Sokoto boys 0-1, scaled through their second match by beating Kaduna boys 1-0, and trumped the score board by defeating Kebbi boys 7-0.