The fourth biennial inter-house sports competition of Chelsea School in Lagos was fun packed and a day like no other. Peter Uzoho who covered the event, reports
The fourth biennial inter-house sports competition of Chelsea School also known as Kel-Chelsea School was held on Friday, February 9, 2018 with fun, glamour, intense contest for trophy and, with maximum spirit of sportsmanship. The school, a combination of nursery, primary and high school is reputed for its quality teaching and learning and ensuring mental, physical, psychological and moral development of a child.
Its inter-house sports festival which holds every two years is part of the school’s extra-curricular activities targeted at developing pupils and students physically, as well as discovering their talents and skills in sports.
The theatre of games for this year’s edition was the First Bank of Nigeria’s Sports Complex, situated in Satellite Town, Lagos, where some of the spectacular activities at Olympics were replicated.
As early as 7a.m, exciting young school children dazzling in Red, Yellow, Blue and Green sports wears, representing Ekwulugo, Francis, Ogile and Yekwe respectively (the four house owners in the school), were brought into the venue in company of their parents, guardians and caregivers. They had been engaged in series of practices and heats where each house selected the best athletes for the showdown. With hardworking house masters and mistresses, each of the houses promised to put up great fight to clinch the trophy.
The venue was well set for the show. The field of play had been marked into visible tracks for convenient racing. High-table members, guests, parents and guardians were seated in a canopy close to the race take-off point to enable them catch full glimpses of every bit of the proceedings. House members and their officials settled in canopies positioned directly opposite the high table members where the athletes were called up from. The medical team was also on ground to respond to injury cases. The DJ’s presence never lacked one bit as he provided the needed sounds and tunes while working in synergy with the Master of Ceremony. All finishing touches had been made, setting the stage ready for action.
To excite the guests and put them in warm mood, pop girls and dancers appeared on stage with their heart-warming dance steps and freestyles which left the guests smiling and returning applause to them. This was followed by the match past competition where all houses tried to outshine the other and emerge winner as each paid great attention to the three grading systems – dressing, response to command and unity of salutation.
To officially kick-start the occasion, the school’s Proprietress, Mrs.
Adaoma Igbokwe, in her address, warmly welcome all the guests and the participating houses and officials to the event. She said sports is valued not just for entertainment and improvement of the physical well-being but, also for the exposure it gives and the enormous wealth it brings.
Igbokwe explained that sport is one of the three domains of education: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor, stressing that the highest function of education is to bring about an integrated individual capable of dealing with life as a whole. She stated that Chelsea School has interest in meeting the demands of the three domains. “We are keen on building our students’ intellect. However, since that is not enough, we are also concerned about their character formation. When it comes to the development of physical aptitudes, we work as a team to bring out the best in our students. Our school environment is conducive for teaching and learning,” Igbokwe said.
“Just as all play and no work makes students lazy, all work and no play makes them dull. That is why we have filed out here this year again in pursuit of sporting excellence. It is therefore, our fervent hope that this edition will be an improvement on the last one,” the Proprietress noted.
She called on the participating houses and all concerned in the activities to approach the game with the spirit of sportsmanship, pointing out that the event was intended to showcase talents and skills and not for war.
In the same vein, the Chairman of the occasion, Rev. Paul Chikwem, who was represented by his wife, Favour, said the event shows the commitment everyone in the school has for sports.
“I’m sure we will witness athletic performance of the highest quality over the course of this championship,” he said. Chikwem advised the competitors to do their best and compete in the spirit of sportsmanship and fair-play, noting that the event would give them the opportunity to come closer to each other. “Certainly, each of you will put skills and talents against your opponents from other teams. I encourage you all to also make the most out of this wonderful opportunity to showcase the best athletic talents and spirit of sportsmanship. Sports makes you stronger and healthier and, also teaches us to accept defeat and celebrate victory – these lessons later become building blocks for success in life,” he said.
To ensure that athletes, officials and all concerned in the races played by the rules of the game and with high spirit of sportsmanship, the sports oath was administered on them. However, before this finale show, some of the major events – the long distance races, tyre race, high jump, shot put and javelin where athletes from the High School featured prominently, had been decided. Over 36 field and track events including side attractions were competed for. The side attractions featured such races like filling the basket, filling the bottle, catching the bus to school, slippers race, bursting the balloon, sack race, tug of war, among others. Meanwhile, as the events unfolded, and as it obtains in every contest, the competing houses and their supporters in their optimism already declared themselves winners of the competition, writing off their opponents.
A parent, Mrs. Chioma Ekwulugo, owner of Red House, whose children also made up the house, said the programme was going on fine and that their house would carry the trophy. “It’s going very fine. I hope we will carry the trophy at the end of the day. We have a great team; our athletes are good. So I’m confident we’ll win. Green House won it last year and we intend to collect it from them this time,” Ekwulugo said. An athlete in Blue House, Miss Praise Esom, said: “We’ll win and carry the trophy. We’re well-prepared for it. We’re not afraid of any team. Our leaders are behind us, so we’ll win.” The House Mistress for Blue House, Mrs. Mary Ayinde, boasted: “Of course, I expect that my house is coming first. We’re taking the lead. If you watch our match past you will know that Blue House is coming first. And so far, our athletes have been doing their best to ensure that we win. Last time, we came second but now we want to take the first position. We’re fully-prepared for it. So far, we’ve won three gold, three silver, with a number of bronze.” The House Master for Yellow House, Mr. Keke Emmanuel, did not sound any differently as his eye was firmly on the gold medal.
“Our team is doing very well. So far we’ve won more than four gold and we’re still expecting more in the coming events. We won in the 200 meters race for girls, 100 meters senior boys. We also won the 50 and 75 meters races for junior. Our expectation is to win the first position and grab the coveted trophy and, we’re going all out for that. I believe in my athletes and I know they’re equal to the task. They’re already doing it in the field as you can see them,” Emmanuel said.
Finally, with all events completed and the result declared, Green House emerged the overall winner with 14 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze. The house retained the trophy it had been holding since the last two editions – making it a three time winner in a row. Red House came 2nd with 13 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze. Yellow House took the 3rd position garnering 9 gold, 9 silver and 18 bronze, leaving Blue House at the 4th with 7 gold, 11 silver and 7 gold. Speaking to THISDAY after the programme, the Sports Coordinator of the school, Miss Chinyere Ukaogo, who was visibly tired and stressed up, thanked God for enabling them to hold the programme successfully. She said sports has a lot to do in the academic development of a child, stressing that exercise is one of the things that help to build the body.
“It gives the children the spirit of competition. You know in life, one has to compete in order to succeed: both in the academics and in other aspects of life; and the spirit of competition is always to win,” Ukaogo said. According to her, inter-house sports provides the opportunity of finding talents that have been hidden in children. “Like today, we’ve discovered some talents among them. We know those that can run very well. That’s why platforms like the inter-house sports are created to enable some of them showcase their God-given talents and skills which can then be developed.” Ukaogo noted that with the kind of athletes the school produces in all their inter-house sports competitions, Nigerians would soon be proud of having them as the country’s contingents in international sporting events.
She threw more light on the importance of the side attractions featured in the events, saying apart from being a form of entertainment, they were also intended to find out whether children paid attentions to the things parents help them do at home. “For example, in filling the basket, filling the bottle and stuffs like that, these are the things their parents do for them at home. It tells us if the child is being attentive when the parents or maids are doing them for him or her. Whether the child is actually watching their parents do that and, if the child can be able to repeat that as being done for him or her by the parent at home. You know their parents fill their bottles with water when coming to school; they dress them to school. So we want to know if those children can be able to do those things on their own.
“In filling in the basket, you know each child has his or her own ball. So we want to know if the child will be able to identify what belongs to him or her. If he picks somebody else’s ball, it then means he doesn’t know the things that belong to him,” she explained. She noted that it was also a wake-up call for parents to begin to let their children start taking responsibilities at certain age. “For those who couldn’t repeat those things as being done for them by their parents at home, it has given the parents a clear picture of what they ought to be teaching their children at certain age. It’s not everything the housemaids should do for them and it’s not everything parents should do for them; there is an age they will get to that requires parents allowing them to take some responsibilities. For instance, you allow them to start dressing themselves while you watch to make corrections – you look at the collar, how they wear the shoe and things like that.”