An industrialist, Jani Ibrahim, has called on the federal government to consider making sports an integral part of unity schools’ curriculum to ensure a balanced education.
Ibrahim said this during the opening of the 16th FEDCOL Games, hosted by the Southwest zone, at the Federal Science and Technical College Yaba (FSTCY) Lagos.
Ibrahim, the event’s chairman, described sports as a major underpinning factor of the country’s unity and called on the government to create adequate time and enough competition for the unity schools, as that would further cement and create the binding force for national unity.
He also appealed to the federal government to do its best to continue supporting the FEDCOL Games by putting in more resources to ensure that it becomes an avenue for young Nigerians to meet, mingle, share ideas, understand themselves and promote unity.
In his remarks, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended the organisers of the games for a job well done while expressing his administration’s resolve to ensure the sustainability of the biennial games.
The governor, the special guest of honour, said sports remained the biggest and strongest binding factor and encouraged students to participate in sports whenever the opportunity presents itself.
The Principal of the Federal Government College Ijanikin, Lagos, Tofunmi Akamo, said over 85 unity colleges participated in sporting activities like athletics, shot put, chess and other indoor games.
She said the essence of the game was further to sustain the vision and mission of the founding fathers.
The principal of King’s College, Lagos, Mr Andrew Agada, expressed satisfaction with the turnout of the colleges for the games, noting that Nigeria would remain a force to be reckoned with if sports could be encouraged across all areas of life’s endeavour.
In his remarks at the closing ceremony, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Andrew David Adejo commended the organisers and all the participants for their good conduct, that eventually led to the success of the 16th edition of the games.
Adejo, who was represented by the Coordinating Director, Education Support Services, Dr. Giginna Ifeyinwa, said getting involved in athletics is an invaluable gift.
“It has been proven that after any form of exercise, the flow of blood to the brain increases. This enables one to develop effective skills for solving problems, enhances concentration and promotes creativity.”
He advised the students to hold on to their talents as they pursue their education in tertiary institutions.
“You have competed among each other these past days, applauded outstanding skills regardless of the school, played together, overcome unavoidable challenges and gone through whirlwind of emotions that characterise athletics. In all these, you have added value to your resilience and ability to surmount the vagaries of life,” he said.
He also congratulated all medalists and implored others to take a cue from their dexterity
The permanent secretary said the 17th edition of the games would be made known when the time comes.
At the end of the competition, Federal Government Girls College Jos emerged overall winner in the girls category, while the overall best in the boys category was the Federal Government College Idoani, Ondo State.