• _Ilorin West clinches First Prize, followed by Isin, Offa._

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday said the administration is investing in the development of sports industry, most especially the school games to keep the pupils physically and mentally fit for academic excellence.

He said while the school children are required to study hard to achieve greatly, their involvement in extracurricular activities like sports strengthens their brains and helps the assimilation process. 

The Governor spoke in Ilorin at the grand finale of the Basic Education School Sports (BESS) Competition, which was organized by the Kwara state Universal Basic Education Board (KWSUBEB).

"Education contains curriculum and extracurricular activities. This means that if you go into the classroom, you must also go to the field to play, because sports is not only about physical fitness and leisure but also helps in making you mentally strong as a student,” he said.

"The organizers and the participants should not see it as just a play, it is also a means of living and a means to unifying the nation.”

The government had recently distributed sports kits to all public basic schools in the state in preparation for the game, and in line with what the UBEC’s laid down rules. 

The event, which kicked off late October, had pupils of public primary and junior secondary schools across the sixteen local governments of the state, who participated in various sporting activities such as football, volleyball, scrabble, Javelin, shot put, handball, skipping rope, long jump and high jump, among others.

AbdulRazaq, who was represented by the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Education, Hon Muhammed Baba Boriya, described the programme as a step in the right direction, adding it will also assist in discovering hidden talents in the institutions of learning.

He appreciated the UBEC for giving the state government necessary support to reposition basic education, and the KWSUBEB for putting up the sporting programme, assuring that the administration will continue to promote sport development in the state.

He advised all school administrators and sports officers in schools to always encourage their students to also partake in physical exercise, one of such he noted was the game just ended.

The grand finale was graced by some government officials including Kwara House of Assembly member Hon. Abdulganiyu Salaudeen; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion (Islam) Alhaji Ibrahim Dan-meigoro; Executive Chairman Kwara SUBEB Prof Sheu Raheem Adaramaja, and other principal officers of the Board; representative of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Deacon D.K Olayemi; representative of Head of Service, Hajia Fatimah Abolore Jimoh; Education Secretaries from the sixteen local governments; and the school pupils; various stakeholders in sports sector, among others.

Prof Adaramaja, in his remarks, said the game was organized to enhance the physical and mental fitness of pupils, and to discover hidden talents from the grassroots especially from primary and junior secondary school levels.

"The essence of basic education school sports is to discover talents from the grassroots especially from Primary and Junior Secondary School levels. In the last youth sports that was held in Asaba, Kwara State came 6th on the table. So, we want a situation where in the next Youth game, Kwara will be either first or second on the table,” he said.

He said about 11,000 students participated in the competition from across the 16 local government areas of the state, all of whom he said the government took care of in the course of their stay for the final stage.

"Close to 11, 000 students participated because we instructed every local government to send between 450 and 700 students and all of them complied. They arrived the day before yesterday. We accommodated them, we fed them and they enjoyed themselves. You can see that they are very happy and excited".

"You will recall that some time ago, we distributed sporting equipment to schools. We distributed so much sporting equipment to schools and we instructed them to go and practice and bring up their best from each local government area. So, the best among them are those you are seeing here today.”

At the end of the championship, Ilorin West local government emerged the overall winner, while the second and third positions went to Isin and Offa local governments respectively.

Atere Ameenat Abiola
Press Secretary
December 1, 2023.


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