By Archibong Jeremiah
The Cross River state governor, Senator Liyel Imoke has applauded the management of the United Cement Company, UNICEM for its role in developing and sustaining grass root sports in the state.
Imoke maintained that “It is after 2005 when we made the decision to improve on grass roots sports by building a policy frame work for it which the Commissioner was saddled with the responsibility of getting UNICEM to support and eventually they did, thank you UNICEM”.
The governor thanked UNICEM management during the finals of the 2014 Edition of UNICEM Cup for Cross River State Secondary Schools (boys and girls) which held at the UJ Esuene stadium, Calabar recently.
The state governor; Senator Liyel Imoke who was represented by Mr. Augustine Ugi, pledged to continue to seek partnership with private organizations to develop the state and called on other organizations to emulate the cement company.
The Managing Director of the United Cement Company, UNICEM, Mr. Oliver Lenoir while addressing the participants said the competition has become a platform to discover hidden talents in soccer explaining that: “Our decision to sustain this sponsorship is born out of our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, to give the young people platform to express themselves.”
The competition which held its maiden edition last year, 2013 according to Mr. Lenoir represented by Mr. Williams Anam, Sales Manager of the company is expected to produce future football stars for the state and country. “As a company we will be fulfilled if and only if we begin to see many of the participating students here become Nigeria’s future stars, we will be proud to identify with such development”, the MD said.
The competition had 36 participants made up of 18 females and 18 males from missionary, government or private secondary schools in the state.
In the male category, Government Secondary School Ishibori, Ogoja local government area, came 1st, While the West Africa People’s Institute, WAPI, Calabar Municipality came 2nd and Two End Secondary School Ikom came 3rd.
And in the female category, Two Ends Secondary School, Ikom came 1st winning the price back to back having won the maiden edition in 2013. Government Secondary School, Big Qua came 2nd with Noble International Secondary school Abochiche Bekwara emerging 3rd. The 1st team in both categories went home with a hundred thousand naira each and second position with seventy five thousand naira only.
There were also winners in other personal awards categories: Best Female Goal Keeper, Deborah Obun of Two Ends secondary school. Best Male Goal Keeper, Peter Unimke of West Africa People’s Institute, WAPI. Most Valuable Player, MVP, Female, Orie Etoti Okwe of Government secondary school Big Qua. MVP Male, Vincent Unimke of Government secondary school Ishibori Ogoja and they both went home with 50, 000 naira each.
Community secondary school Idomi won as best behaved team in female while in the male category, Community secondary school Ugeb won and both took home fifty thousand naira each.
The highest goal scorer of the tournament for male was Henry Chibuzor of West Africa People’s Institute, WAPI scoring 10 goals while Rita Emmanuel of Two End secondary school Ikom scored 8 goals to become the highest goal scorer in the female category and both of them carted away 50, 000 naira each.
Coach James Modey of WAPI in won the Best Coach of the tournament in the male category while for the female category, Coach Raphael Eze of Government secondary school, Big Qua emerged tops.
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