In a move to promote youth development and empowerment through education and sports, over 300 students are expected to converge on Corona Secondary School, Agbara in April for a sports programme themed ‘Easter Soccer Camp’ being organised by the school, in collaboration with Headmaster Sports Academy Limited under the headship of the renowned ex-Super Eagles international icon, Mutiu Adepoju. Sunday Ehigiator reports
Next month, Corona Secondary School, Agbara will be hosting over 300 students, mostly youths at its expansive school premises in one of its kind sport fiesta with the theme ‘Easter Soccer Camp’, in collaboration with Headmaster Sports Academy Limited under the headship of renowned former Super Eagles icon, Mutiu Adepoju. The aim of the collaboration, according to the organiser, is to promote youth development and empowerment through education; to inculcate high moral and ethical values in students within and outside the wall of the classrooms; and to enrich the sports portfolios of all participating youths and students from within and outside the school environment.
In an interview with THISDAY, the Principal, Corona Secondary School, Agbara, Mrs. Chinedum Oluwadamilola revealed that aside the school’s commitment to always bring out the best from its students, help them stay true to their dreams and follow through their passion, the school agreed to go into the partnership because of Adepoju’s personality.
“With all his accomplishments in football, he has remained as humble as a dove. He exhumes good values with a simple lifestyle. He has remained someone that is down to earth and everyone can resonate with. As an embodiment of humility, he has demonstrated that you can achieve a lot without making a lot of noise about it. You can achieve without being in everybody’s face, without being scandalous; and his records are clean. This correlates with our school’s values and principles. “Mutiu is one of a kind; to have spent so much time in top place football and there was never a time you hear anything scandalous about him, even as a rumour, it is commendable. And this is a typical example of a sports personality we can encourage our students to emulate. As much as we want to expose our children to football, we also want them to learn from someone who has those good values that we resonate with.
“And during the camping period, which is only open to youths between the ages of 10 to 17, there is going to be a lot of scouts coming around to watch these boys and luckily, one or more of them could catch their interest. It is an open camp. Our students would be involved and interested students from other schools. They are to register through our website, www.coronaschools.org or via www.headmaster.ng with a registration fee as low as N3,000 and participation fee of N75,000 only. The camp is in two batches. The first batch will open from April 7 to 12, while the second batch will be from April 22 to 27 with a limited space of 300 students per batch.
Oluwadamilola added: “But the most amazing of all is that the camp is not just going to be all about football, they would be learning moral values, discipline, more on attitudinal dispositions from the officials involved; how to get scholarships to European, Canadian and American universities through sports achievements, even as they interact with other ex-international footballers. So it is an intensive sports clinic and many more.”
On the objective of the partnership, she said the management with the approval of the school board “decided to partner with the Headmaster Sports Academy to drive the school’s educational services in the areas of sports just as many corporate organisations partner with celebrities to drive or market their products; to enrich the sports portfolio of our students with a view to giving them an edge when they are seeking admission through scholarship into foreign universities; to give participants the opportunity to express their talents, improve their skills and become exposed to modern techniques in football. And to enable participants to acquire values such as teamwork, endurance and resilience which they will find useful and applicable to life outside sports.”
Highlighting the school’s achievements, Oluwadamilola said: “Corona School was founded with a mission to provide world-class education to children and to inculcate high moral and ethical values in them as they prepare for a lifelong learning, service and fulfilment. And over the years, the school has stayed true to its dreams by constantly being on top of its game. Apart from its affiliation with reputable associations such as member, Council of British International School (COBIS); member, Associate of International Schools in Africa (ASIS); member, Association of International School Educators of Nigeria, CSS is the only secondary school in West Africa to get highly coveted accreditation of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Yet, we are a Nigerian school. In terms of academics, our students have recorded successes both in national and international examinations, of significant and note was the Standardized Aptitude Test (SAT) examinations, where two of our students scored highest in the whole universe.
“This was made possible because as a school, we place high premium on professional development of every cadre of our staff based on identified training needs. We therefore take advantage of annual international and local conferences, workshops and seminars in order to open up vistas of expansion in our teachers’ professional practice. We are highly committed to regular external accreditation and/or inspection. Ours is a demonstration of life-long learning and continuing professional development. We always strive to improve on our operational processes from time to time,” she stressed.
In his remarks, Adepoju, who is the founde of Headmaster Sports Academy, said he is delighted to be associated with a programme that is centred on improving and invigorating the minds of children in sports, exposing them to the value, ethics and the wonderful world of football. “Our company is a sports, education and tour planning organisation that is established in Nigeria to influence children in sports and other academic activities both locally and internationally. The targeted age group of participants is between seven and 17 years and they are expected to be students.”
Speaking on his mission for the forthcoming event, he said his company in partnership with Corona has come up with soccer camp programme that is designed to connect, expose and integrate children into the international world of football. “The youth soccer camp is a section of HSAL, which is established to create the best football experience for children by providing a solid platform in pursuing their football career, providing professional coaches with the required equipment to train them in becoming the best both locally and internationally.
“The benefits of this programme would include training by professional coaches including myself and a host of others; vast exposure about the game; standard equipment; good training equipment; and chances to be scouted out by professional clubs by engaging in the international tournament.
“Football is an ever growing and evolving platform which has the interest of billions of people worldwide, it is our duties as parents and guardians to contribute and encourage our children in walking this path of greatness so that they can be among the stars,” he said.
Commenting on the partnership, a member, Youth Football Development Committee, Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Dotun Coker said “the partnership is a landmark event. I am aware they have approached about 10 schools and we are so delighted that Corona accepted to partner Headmasters Sports Academy, their values are in sync and in line with our youth football development policies. “The important thing here is to see these students turn out to be superstars in future and have an empowerment background to fall on. And we are encouraging more of this type of partnership.”
Speaking with THISDAY, a parent, Justice Habeeb Abiru described the partnership as wonderful, saying that there is nothing comparable to academics and sports, as both work hand-in-hand to better develop a child.
The school’s first team goalie, Uchenna Dike described the partnership as an “amazing opportunity for students to improve on their football skills and showcase their passion for soccer”, while encouraging his school/team mates to participate and fully maximize the opportunities it would provide.
While the sports teacher, Mr. Awuru Joel believes the partnership is a big step in the right direction towards inculcating sports in students at an early age, he applauded the school for being a pioneer of sports development among secondary schools in Nigeria.