By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
As part of efforts to identify sprouting talents in sports in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, President of Jude Gbaboyor Sports, Engr. Jude Gbaboyor Akpodubakaye, yesterday announced scholarships for all prospective students from Warri South-West that gain admission into the newly established sports academy.
Engr. Akpodubakaye who committed the unveiling of Jude Gbaboyor Sports Academy at Isaba, explained that: “The goal of Jude Gbaboryor Sports Academy is to take youths (boys and girls) of ages 9 to 16 years with identified raw talents in sports off the streets, to groom them to be able to explore their God’s given talents to better their lives and their families.
“The academy will provide youths of Warri South-West Local Government Area and Delta State in general, an opportunity to be groomed and nurtured by professional sports administrators and coaches from within and outside the country in different sports.
“The academy intends to offer scholarships to students of Warri South-West Local Government Area origin as our way of encouraging youths from the catchment communities to take advantage of this opportunity to benefit from the programmes of the sports academy in line with our corporate social responsibility policy”, he said.
While presenting books to the principal of Isaba Grammar School, Mr. Baro Timi, Engr. Akpodubakaye, emphasized that: “Playing sports or engaging in extracurricular activities play an important part in one’s character/personality development. One develops management skills, negotiation skills, communication skills, convincing skills, conflict management, and confidence.
“Sport generally helps an individual much more than in the physical aspects alone because apart from building character, it teaches and develops strategic thinking, analytical thinking, leadership skills, goal setting, and risk-taking, just to mention a few.
“Sport, in today’s world has become a lucrative business venture that has turned many talented youngsters into great stars and celebrities worldwide, such that some of them have become so wealthy through sports participation from sports academies like this”, he said.
He added that: “Our sports academy boasts of a cream of seasoned professional coaches and instructors, including top sportsmen and women from within and outside the country, who will either be on the ground or will be visiting the academy from time to time to add value to our training programs here.
“To achieve our goals, the academy is partnering with foreign scouts and similar sports academies around the globe to nurture selected players from the academy, as well as identify more budding talents in the different sports. Our academy intends to start up with two sports, football, and basketball, pending when we have more space and facilities to accommodate other sports”, the proprietor said.
Engr. who is a sports enthusiast further explained that the academy will not only nurture and groom youths in different sports but will also expose the students to quality education in sports administration as well, informing that there will be classroom sessions for teaching and learning alongside the practical in line with the curriculum of the Delta State ministry of education.
“I like to inform you that sport is not just a good way to keep children’s bodies healthy, but it also has psychological benefits that teach the children very important life skills too.
“Therefore parents have key roles in developing a child’s life skills through participating in sports by way of keeping the children interested and enjoy sport, making it a positive experience for them.
“One of the benefits of this academy located in Isaba Kingdom, is that it will help to promote sports participation among the youth and showcase our rich cultural heritage and the peacefully disposition of Isaba kingdom, warri southwest, and Delta State at large.
In his remark, the principal of Isaba Grammar School, Mr. Baro Timi who represented the Chief Inspector of Education, Warri South-West Local Government Council, thanked Engr. Akpodubakaye for his vision in establishing the academy in Isabasaid the sports institute is the first of its kind since Isaba Grammar School was established in 1977, and will serve as a stimulus to enhance the academic and numerical growth of the school.
He said education is the bedrock of development, just as he called on parents to encourage their wards to participate in the programmes of the new sports academy.
Also speaking, Chief Coach of Warri Wolfs, Jolomi Alli commanded the proprietor of the sports academy, Engr. Akpodubakaye and promised to do his best to support the academy in the area of training and talent hunt.
Royal Queens FC of Warri took on Olori Babes FC of Sapele in a novelty match that ended 1-0 in favour of Royal Queens FC, while Nigeria Pro FC slogged it out with Jude Gbaboyor FC which ended 1-1 draw. Other side attractions include performances by Fleta Man and O’Fresh.
The highpoint of the event was the unveiling of the academy’s logo by the Vice President of Jude Gbaboyor Sports Academy, Mrs Uruopa Gbaboyor, while the prototype design of the academy’s permanent campus was unveiled by the Regent of Isaba Kingdom, HRH John Ibowei Ekpenzu. Pst Maureen Atie Oruma dedicated the academy to God.