The Delta State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a consultant, Hideaplux Limited, to revive the old school soccer competition in their resolve to bring back the good old days of secondary school football.
The competition, tagged ‘Principals Cup’ among secondary schools across the state, the preliminary round of the competition is expected to start by next February, and will run through various stages till May 27, 2017 when the final is expected to be played.
The tournament is open to all public and government approved secondary schools in the state, and the players who must be bonafide students of the schools they represent, must not be above 16 years when the competition kicks-off.
Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Festus Ovie Agas, who signed on behalf of the government, said the current administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa places premium on human capacity development, adding that the competition was one of such avenues.
Agas congratulated Hideaplux Limited for the initiative but urged the firm to source for sponsorship across the country for the competition to succeed as government would not provide funds to sponsor it.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hideaplux Limited, Mr. Tony Oritse Pemu said the competition was informed by the need to reverse the negative trends among talented students and redirect their energies into productive ventures including sports.
“From experience I discovered that a lot of our youth need mental reset for them to be great. I was also able to identify the fact that our young people with great sporting talents no longer have a platform to showcase and grow their talent.
“As a result, they now channel their energy into social vices like cultism, brigs dry, truancy and hooliganism, among others.
“So we thought of engaging one of the most effective platform to use in tackling these negative trend and what came to our mind is the secondary schools being an environment where we have a lot of youth at their emerging stages in life.
“So reviving the long abandoned Principals’ Cup competition came to mind and that was the rebirth of the new Delta Principals’ Cup football competition,” Pemu said.
Apart from age requirement, Pemu added that any participant in the competition must be above average academically.
“Encouraging academic excellence is the unique selling preposition of this competition. While the competition is designed to encourage the growth of football from grassroots and taking sports back to schools, we at also using it to encourage academic growth of participants by ensuring that only participants with a specified minimum class performance are selected,” he explained.