The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo has commended Sampou Grammar School for winning the “Eze Gbakagbaka” Inter State Youth Soccer trophy”, after beating Randolph Comprehensive College, Port-Harcourt, 1-0 in the final match at the St. Andrew’s Primary School Field Mile 1, Diobu Port-Harcourt on Saturday.
Mr. Kiyaramo who took the kick off spoke with newsmen at the end of the match also applauded Community Secondary School Okoloba for winning the third place match, 1-0 against Zion International High School, Port-Harcourt.
He called on policymakers to explore the unifying power of sport to build bridges across board, saying that sport speaks to the youth in a language they can easily understand.
The governor’s aide thanked Randolph Comprehensive College, Port-Harcourt, who second for their brilliant performance and good conduct through out the game, noting that sport has become an activity that contributes to global peace, having the power to inspire and change the world for good through uniting people.
He recalled that sport’s role in reducing conflicts around the world could be traced back to the creation of the Olympic Games, reiterating that in a world, often divided by conflicts, sport has become a unique and important connective tissue that binds people together across and within societies.
Mr. Kiyaramo added that: “As we think about forums that unite us, regardless of our backgrounds or beliefs, it is hard to think of any other space as powerful as the stadiums we fill to cheer up our favourite teams and players, or the fields where we play together either for pleasure and exercise”.
He stated that sport has become a universal culture which serves as an important instrument for bringing different people together, irrespective of background, colour, religion or political affiliations, informing that throughout history, people who otherwise, have little in common, have always come together on grounds of sport tourism in neighbourhood pitches and stadiums, either as sport tourists, fans and players, putting their differences aside for the sake of their teams.
Earlier, Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, Comrade Samuel Numonengi who chaired the event, in his opening remarks had admonished the both teams to see themselves as brothers, saying that the match was not a do-or-die affairs, rather, they should see themselves as two brother teams on the pitch.
Comrade Numonengi assured the teams of his support by recommending identified good players to club sides and other relevant organisations within and outside the country for mentoring and sponsorship, just as he emphasized the need for corporate bodies and individuals to invest more in grassroots sport development as a veritable tool for peace building in the Niger Delta Region.
President General of the League of Character Clubs International, Character, High Chief Christian Kokoriko, organiser of the “Eze Gbakagbaka Youth Soccer Cup Competition” for secondary schools in Rivers and Bayelsa States, announced cash prizes of one hundred and fifty thousand naira as first prize, one hundred thousand as second prize and fifty thousand naira as third prize.
He called on aspiring footballers in the two sister states to pursue their career and educational pursuits in such a balanced manner that will enable them to excel in academics and sport, informing that the next edition of the tournament will be hosted in Bayelsa State.
High Chief Kokoriko who eulogised Late former Deputy Governor of Old Rivers State, HRM, King Sir Dr. Frank Eke, described him as one of the greatest African traditional rulers, whose life story has remaind a source of inspiration for the youth to achieve greater success in life.
He also commended Character, HRM King (Dr) AMB. Sir Leslie Nyebuchi Eke
JP, DCF, Eze Gbakagbaka of Evo Kingdom for sustaining the vision of his father by sponsoring the “Gbakagbaka” football tournament for secondary schools in Rivers and Bayelsa States.
Character High Chief Kokoriko said it takes a philanthropist and a man of character to invest in the younger generation, describing the sponsor as someone with a lot of extra-ordinary energy, foresight, vision and remarkable intellectual ability.
In his remarks, the Sports Desk Officer of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board & State Coordinator of Nigeria School Sport Federation ( NSSF) Rivers State, Mr Fubara Alabo Raymond, thanked the organisers of the “Eze Gbakagbaka Youth Cup Competition for putting the event together without any hitch, just as he reiterated the need to encourage grassroots sport development as a panacea for peace.
Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, was honoured with the Golden Award of Late HM King, Sir, Dr. Amb Frank Eke (JP) Cup Trophy and Sixth Grand Patron of the league of Character Clubs International, as well as Grassroot Sports Promoter Award and Medal, while a former deputy governor of Old Rivers State in the second Republic, late King Frank Eke was honoured with a post humous Golden Award.
Character HM King, Sir, Euang. Amb. Leslie Nyebuchi Eke (DCF, Ph.D), Eze Gbakagbaka was conferred with Grassroot Sports Promoter Award, among other personalities, including, General Manager of Radio Rivers 99.1FM, Character, Sir Sampson Fiberesima, honoured with “Best Active Patron of the Year”, award, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo, Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, Comrade Samuel Numonengi Alambo Datonye Fred, Miss Colony C. Kokoriko, President/Founder, Character Moulding Foundation and Character Harry Isoboye (JP), President, Diobu All Stars FC, all bagged Grassroots Sport Promoter awards.
Dignitaries that graced the event include, Dimieari C. Uwah, Director, St Andrew’s Adult Education Centre, Character Harry Isoboye (JP), President, Diobu All Stars FC, Character Chief Mrs Victoria Agwu Kokoriko National Director of Women Affairs/Protocol, Character Colony C. Kokoriko President/Founder, Character Moulding Foundation, Rivers State United Coach, Okechukwu Sizeone Iwenya, Character Osiya Oli (CEO Osilight Educational Service Ltd), Pst Uchechukwu Obasi, (Spiritual Father of the Day), Head Mistress of St. Andrew’s State School l, Port Harcourt, Character Mrs. Chinah L. Chika, Principal of Sampou Grammar School, Mr. Fakidouma Augustine and his counterpart from Community Secondary School Okoloba, Diriyal Dickson Dimie.