The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said yesterday that the outfit was committed to discover, nurture and reward young talents from secondary schools.
He said the need to catch them young and develop them to become future Olympics stars necessitated the introduction of Skoolimpics.
Speaking during the press conference heralding the three-day games, Sekibo, who was represented by the Executive Director, Lagos and South-West Corporate Banking of Heritage Bank, Mary Akpobome, said there was need to tackle the dearth of insufficient sports talents and the best way to do that was by catching them young.
“Skoolimpics is the holistic development of young people in order to foster their physical, social and emotional wellbeing,” Sekibo said.
“The benefits of the games are immense because sports is an essential part of education, as such Skoolimpics put in another way is where education meets sports.
“Before now, Nigeria was a force to reckon with on the continent and world in general, but the country’s recent lacklustre outing at the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil sums up the deterioration in our institutional sporting framework.”
Speaking further, the MD said gone were the days when there were several competitions to detect athletes in various sports, mentioning organised games like the national Sports Festival, Army and Police Games, Customs, Immigrations and Prisons Games to mention but few.
In her own word, the Divisional Head, Retail/SME of the bank, Ori Ogba, who was the brain behind the games said in less than three years of existence of the organization, they saw the need to invest more in the school children.
She said: “Other institutions have been around and see no reason why they have to invest in the school children, but we decided to come up with Skoolimpics.
“This is Heritage Bank’s brain child, nobody approached us. We came up with the idea and decided to invite others because we cannot do it alone.”
Over 200 public and private secondary schools with about 6,000 students are expected to be part of the first edition of Skoolimpics with the games scheduled to start from November 2 to 4 at two different centres; Teslim Balogun Stadium, Suru-lere and Rowe Park, Yaba.
The games touch will also be taken round the state starting today through, Friday, October 28.