By Uchechukwu Nnaike
Come this September, two students from public schools in Lagos State would resume at Greensprings School, Lekki on full scholarship for being adjudged the best footballers at the recently concluded Greensprings/Kanu Football Camp.
Master Quadri Araromi, from Lahinde Primary School, Oshodi will start primary six at Greensprings, while Master Light Chijioke from Gbaja Boys Junior School, Surulere, will start from junior secondary two, both will complete their secondary education at the school.
The Greensprings/Kanu Football Camp was established in 2012 by Greensprings School and Kanu Heart Foundation to enable children between the ages of five and 17 enhance their football skills. During the five-day camp, children get first class training by coaches from West Bromwich Abion Football Club, UK and Dutch Football Association, Netherlands, supported by coaches from the Lagos State Football Association. The participants also get a lifetime opportunity to receive direct mentoring and coaching from Nwankwo Kanu.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the camp, held at the Lekki Campus of the school, the Executive Director of Greensprings School, Mrs. Lai Koiki, said the event is in line with the school’s objective of reaching all Nigerian children so it engages in activities that will extend its reach, including sports.
She said the scholarship, worth over N20 million includes the provision of accommodation, school uniforms, pocket money and other necessities that will get them immersed in the system, as well as help them to succeed and excel in their academics and sports.
Though they got the scholarship for their prowess in football, Koiki stressed that the school prioritises education and would ensure that the students put their studies first.
In his remarks, a representative of the sponsor, Union Bank, Mr. Emmanuel Essien, restated the bank’s commitment to education, sports and inclusion, as well as its desire to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be the best that they can be.
While commending the school for the initiative, he said the camp is an example of inclusion because it brought together childen from different backgrounds.
Apart from sponsoring five students to the camp, the bank also presented cash reward of N100,000 each to the most valuable female player and four others.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Technical Committee of the Lagos State Football Association, Mr. Dotun Coker expressed delight that since the inception of the programme, the state team has always produced the beneficiaries of the scholarship.
He said association endorsed the inititive by Greensprings School because it is a way of giving back to the society, adding that the state sponsors 20 students to the camp annually.
He said the Eko Football cuts across all parts of the state and is aimed at creating an effective marriage between education and football.