Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the state has received more than 1,500 applications from people all over the country to join the Rivers Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt.
This is as the governor gave the assurance that the academy would take off soon since the state has ratified its agreement with Real Madrid Football Club on the academy.
Wike spoke yesterday at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa on arrival from Madrid, Spain where he had gone to ratify the agreement with Real Madrid Football Club officials on the take off of the academy.
His words: “We went to Madrid to ratify our agreement with Madrid Foundation as to establish Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt. And to the glory of God, that it is now a reality. Real Madrid Academy has come to Port Harcourt.
“Not just only football, we also have another aspect of the academy too combined. That is basketball. Real Madrid is one of the best sports clubs in the world. I wouldn’t say I have given the best. But, whatever I can give to our people to ensure they bring out their potentials, we are always willing to support.
“We got Madrid and we have perfected it that in any moment from now, the Academy will start. As I speak to you now, I have received not less than 1,500 applications from all over the country, from people who want to be students of the academy.”
Wike said the unique feature of the academy is that trainees would have to combine sports with education so that if they do not make it in sports, they could still carry on with their education.
“The most important thing there is, they don’t just play football, it is combined with education. Those of them who will make it in terms of football, are held. But, those who do not make it will continue with their education. It is not that those who do not make it, their world has ended. The educational aspect of it is there,” he said.
The governor also said the Real Madrid Football Club President, Florentino Perez, has given the assurance that they would do all necessary to ensure the academy becomes the best in Africa.
He said, “Yesterday, we were with the President of Real Madrid Football Club, Florentino Perez and he assured us of total support in the actualisation of this vision of developing the best Academy in Africa. He also expressed happiness that we fulfilled all the conditions foe setting up the Academy.”
Wike expressed joy that the academy has become a reality, with full partnership between the state government and Real Madrid Foundation.
He noted that Rivers people deserve the best and his administration remains committed to giving them the best.
He added: It is not only football the world is coming to learn. Rivers State is a safe place everybody can come and do business. It is important for us.
“Now, all of us who are from this state must come to project and promote this state, not demarket our state.”