The city of Gombe, capital of the state known as ‘Jewel in the Savannah’, is bubbling as the annual Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Mini-Tournament moves up north for the very first time. The tournament which begins today will run till September 22.
Akinwunmi, who is the 1st Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation and Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association, has been sponsoring a charity mini-tournament for some years now in Lagos State, which has attracted immense media and public attention, as well as infectious ecstasy.
The competition’s main objective is provision of scholarships for smart but indigent children and support for ailing ex-international players. Over 200 children have been supported through the Courage Education Foundation, which has chosen the game of football to bring people together and raise funds for the Foundation’s goals.
A thorough and deliberate debonair lawyer of over 30 years at the bar who has disdain for doing things in half measures, Akinwunmi has driven the mini-tournament and the foundation with a touch of class, charisma and consistency.
“Our goal is to provide the perfect platform for the gifted but indigent child to fulfill his dream, through combining good education with a career in sport. The truth is that talents abound in the nooks and crannies of our country. They are waiting to be discovered and nurtured. Most are from poor homes and need support to climb that ladder to get close to their dreams,” said Akinwunmi.
Best –practice conditions for the tournament in Gombe include that all players must be 13 years or below at its commencement; players must come from the same school as scholarship grant will be paid directly to the relevant schools; evidence of attending school and birth certificate/authenticated document compulsory and; letter from school and State FA verifying child is in school and medically fit to partake.
The winning team will get the sum of N100,000 while the two best players from host Gombe State will get scholarship grant of N150,000 each and the best player from each of the other five States in the North East will go home with scholarship grant of N150,000 each.