…Directs Ministry To Construct Courts In Schools
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has rewarded winners of the 2022 Nestle Milo National Secondary Schools Basketball Championship from the state.
Last month, students of the Bishop Dimeari Grammar School (BDGS), Yenagoa, won in the male category while their counterparts from the St Jude’s Girls Secondary School, also in Yenagoa, took the female crown at the championship held in Lagos.
It was the seventh title for the latter school in the competition while the BDGS boys won it for the first time.
Both schools also produced the Most Valuable Players of the tournament.
At a reception held inside the Executive Council Chamber of the Government House in Yenagoa on Wednesday, Governor Diri commended the teams for the feat and for making the state proud.
He charged them not to relent in training and that the victory should spur them to achieve greater laurels.
The governor announced a token reward of N100,000 to each of the players and an additional N50,000 each to the Most Valuable Players.
Also rewarded were the management of the schools with N500,000 each while the coach of both teams, Tony Nelson, got N300,000 and one grade level promotion in the state’s sports council while the other coaches got N150,000 each.
Governor Diri also directed the immediate construction of basketball courts in both schools to enable the players train adequately.
According to him, sports is no longer only a social activity but also a source of livelihood to those who engage in it.
He advised youths in the state to emulate the players by engaging in productive ventures instead of crime.
The Bayelsa helmsman further noted that the feat achieved by both schools would encourage schools in rural areas to engage in sporting activities.
The governor equally urged other corporate entities to emulate the Milo brand by giving back to society through sponsoring similar events.
He thanked the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Commissioner for Education, Dr Gentle Emelah and his sports counterpart, Daniel Igali, for ensuring a successful outing for the teams.
Governor Diri said: “You have made your schools and Bayelsa State very proud. Let me on behalf of your government and the good people of Bayelsa say congratulations to all of you.
“It is not an easy feat. Sports is no longer a social activity. It is now a money spinning activity. You must have heard of names of big basketball players in America. I am happy that some of our people are already there.
“We also need to grow the game in Bayelsa State. I believe that with your feat, basketball will grow beyond the state capital, Yenagoa. Other secondary school principals should emulate the feat achieved by both schools.
“Let me also use this opportunity to appreciate the sponsors of this competition, the Milo brand. This is what we tell companies and individuals. There must be Corporate Social Responsibility. We call on others to emulate Milo in what it is doing by giving back to society.
“I have been informed that there is no basketball pitch in both schools. The Commissioner for Sports is hereby directed to construct a basketball pitch in BDGS and St Jude’s Girl’s Secondary School.”
While presenting the victorious teams, the Commissioner for Education stated that both teams would represent Nigeria in Serbia in September this year.