Maltina School Games: Beyond Unearthing New Champions

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The Regional Trade and Marketing Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Onitsha Anambra State Mr. Ikenna Igwe with the winners of the Boys 100 meters final at the Rojenny Sports Complex yesterday in Awka, Anambra State.

Having made landmark and long-lasting impressions on teachers across the country with the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative, Nigeria Breweries’ Family brand, Maltina has done great again with students across the nation with the recently introduced School Games.

The Maltina School Games is the latest intervention in School Sports by the country’s number one family drink from the stable of Nigeria Breweries Plc.

It involves a series of track and field sporting competitions held Pan-Nigeria, as an inter-school sports competition to grow future sports champions in secondary schools across Nigeria.

In just its maiden edition, the Maltina School Games has been regarded as a timely intervention to save the dying culture of school sports and more importantly helping produce quality young sound minds that could rightly be called leaders of tomorrow.

The Maltina School Games platform is carefully designed to promote the development of children, from improving their social and leadership skills, to bettering their well-being through sports.

All over the world, sports and education have been veritable instruments; lifting millions out of poverty and for Maltina with its School Games initiative, these twin platforms are getting the needed traction that would further aid development.
Beyond these also, the Maltina School Games no doubt has fostered national unity and raising active kids with its one-month event from the State Prelims all to the national finals.

To highlight the enthusiasm among Nigerian children in the Maltina Games, the just concluded maiden edition witnessed a huge turnout of schools with Lagos recording the most entries.

Lagos had 182 participating schools coming from its six educational districts. There were 120 schools from Kano while Anambra had 124 and the Federal Capital Territory, 116 all registered for the Maltina School Games.

From the over 20 million school children of both participating and non-participating schools that were impacted in this edition of the Maltina School Games, one name already ringing a bell in ears of many is 17 years old Joy Ojo.
Ojo of Ijaye Housing Estate Senior High school emerged as the Overall Best Athlete (OBA) having won the sprint double in the 100m and 200m before adding the relay gold to her collection.

For her splendid performance, the young girl has gotten a scholarship to any Federal University of choice courtesy of Maltina.
No doubt, Ojo showed at both the Lagos State and National finals that she has what is required to take the global athletics world by storm in the not too distant feature.

Aside from Ojo, some of the other children also showed a glimpse of promise that the hitherto moribund sports talent factory in Nigeria has been resuscitated with the Maltina School Games.

“What the Maltina Brand has done is to provide a platform for the likes of Ojo and others to launch themselves to stardom, we hope others would learn from them because sincerely there are many talents yet to be discovered in this country,” Tayo Adewale and officer with the Lagos Education Ministry noted.

With the former fastest man in Nigeria, Seye Ogunlewe also coming out to motivate the children, one can only hope for better years ahead.

“Maltina has played its part by creating a talent expressive platform for young boys and girls to develop themselves. Unlike in my days, where we only participated in Inter House sports and occasionally Invitational School relay races, this platform from Maltina is one that will open the doors for more opportunities for young athletes.”

“Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) must ensure that the organisation of such events should always be hitch-free so that a major corporate body like Nigerian Breweries Plc continues to support these events for a long time to come,” the foremost sprinter pointed out.

The Maltina School Games no doubt as created huge awareness with sports in the Northern part of the country going by the large attendance recorded during the preliminary and the state finals held in Kano. The event also marked the first time most of the athletes would be having a sports meet outside their confines not to talk travelling several kilometres to the finals held in Lagos.

The event no doubt has helped to build integration, unity, and fellowship among millions of youths in the country considering the fact all the participants will have stories to tell and the memories of their respective experiences will linger for a long time as well.