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Heritage Bank Skoolimpics

L-R: Director-General of School Sports, Lagos State Sport Commission, Mr. Moses Kolawole; Managing Director/CEO, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo; Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics Torch Bearer, Momore Opawole; Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics Ambassador, Mary Onyali; Torch Bearer, Favour Ojo and Representative of Lagos State Commissioner for Sports and Director General, School Sports, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dewunmi Ogunsanya, during the opening ceremony of Skoolimpics at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Lagos …yesterday.

The Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics, which is the bank’s signature sporting event that brought together over 6000 student athletes, over 20,000 students from over 600 secondary schools of the six educational districts of Lagos State berthed successfully as the curtain finally fell on the 3-day sporting fiesta at the weekend.

The Minister for Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, led some other top sports dignitaries to the final among which were the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick; the Athletic Federation of Nigeria President, Solomon Ogba; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Sports and Chairman, State’s Sports Commission, Mr. Deji Tinubu; former Commissioner for Sports in Ogun State, Bukola Olopade and Commissioners of Youth and Sports Ogun, represented by Mobolaji Fabi; Director of Sport Kwara/Chairman Director of Sport Forum Mallam Tunde Kazeem and Director Sport Development, Anambra State, Ministry of Youth and Sport Development, Faith Okwonna.

L-R: Executive Director, Heritage Bank,  Mary Akpobome; The Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics Ambassador, Mary Onyali; Managing Director/CEO, Ifie Sekibo and The Director General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dewunmi Ogunsanya representing the Lagos State Sports Commissioner, during the opening ceremony of Skoolimpics at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Lagos …yesterday.

L-R: Executive Director, Heritage Bank, Mary Akpobome; The Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics Ambassador, Mary Onyali; Managing Director/CEO, Ifie Sekibo and The Director General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dewunmi Ogunsanya representing the Lagos State Sports Commissioner, during the opening ceremony of Skoolimpics at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Lagos …yesterday.

Of utmost interest was that the energy and zeal amongst students, athletes and non-athletes were simply unbelievable and electric. Skoolimpics records were set; exceptional talents discovered and a new sporting order instituted with Heritage Bank proud to be the initiator of this unfolding history. Altogether, a total of 21 trophies and 450 medals were won in this sports fiesta fashioned in the tradition of the Summer Olympic Games.

L-R: Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics Ambassador, Mary Onyali; Managing Director/CEO, Ifie Sekibo; Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dewunmi Ogunsanya and Honourable Desmond Elliot, during the opening ceremony of Skoolimpics at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Lagos …yesterday.

L-R: Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics Ambassador, Mary Onyali; Managing Director/CEO, Ifie Sekibo; Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dewunmi Ogunsanya and Honourable Desmond Elliot, during the opening ceremony of Skoolimpics at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Lagos …yesterday.

Oriyomi Akala of Euba Senior Secondary School, Mushin and Anita Taviore from Ipakodo Senior Secondary School were the stars of Skoolimpics, as they won the boys’ and girls’ 100 metres events respectively. They were also the over-all best athletes of the tournament. Akala beat Moshood Abdulabeeb from Mushin Secondary School to win the gold with Abdulabeeb settling for silver while Chigozie Nweke of FCET, Akoka, Yaba, won the bronze.

Taviore toppled every other contestants in the girls’ event to win gold, while Peace Amuneke of Dorcas Memorial Secondary School and Victoria Oyebode from Surulere Local Government Girls School settled for silver and bronze medals respectively.

In the 4x100m relay race, Euba Secondary School, Mushin won in the boy’s category while Hallmark Group of Schools, Ikorodu won silver and King’s College, Lagos picked the bronze. The Hallmark Group of Schools won gold in the girls’ 4x100m relay event while Surulere Girls Secondary School got silver and Dorcas Memorial College, Ajegunle collected the bronze medal.

In the basketball event, Wesley Girls Secondary School won the gold while Topfield Girls School and International School, Lagos won silver and bronze medals respectively.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalong commended Herritage Bank’s drive to resuscitate sporting activities from the foundational level with a view to combining education and sports to bring out the best  from Secondary School students.

Brand Ambassador for Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics, Mary Onyali (MFR), expressed confidence in the benefits the Heritage Bank Skoolimpics will bring to the table. She described the pilot edition of the project as timely and a rare opportunity for interested secondary school students to start from. “This is designed to encourage and help our young ones to discover their talents early and optimize them.”

“During my time as an active sports participant, I didn’t have this opportunity to start from the very foundation like this, but now that these ones are enjoying the opportunity, it will help the nation to discover more talents and run with it. With this type of mammoth crowd, it shows that these children have been looking for this opportunity because they have so much energy and skills to do sports. If other private institutions could embrace something like this, it means our children will have more competitions to attend and boost skills. Apart from lessons and other assignments in the classroom, these young ones desire an organized school competition like Heritage Bank Lagos State Skoolimpics. So, this is where education and sporting activities are important”.

The Managing Director/CEO, Heritage Bank Plc, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, while declaring the pilot edition of the Heritage Bank-Lagos State Skoolimpics 2016 open said he will set aside the sum of N10m for any athlete discovered at the Skoolimpics that will break Onyali’s  20-year 200m record.

At the closing ceremony, the MD explained that success of the Heritage Bank Lagos State Skoolimpics is the potential benefit of the private-public sector partnership, which the bank intends to pursue and replicate in other states of the federation as the tournament goes national.

Represented by the bank’s Executive Director, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, the bank boss described the participating schools as world-class, who only need a platform like ‘Heritage Bank Skoolimpics’ for them to showcase their talents and taken up for other phases of excellent performances to the glory of Lagos State and Nigeria.

Skoolimpics, is an annual sporting event aimed at discovering, nurturing and rewarding talents from secondary schools.  The idea behind Skoolimpics is the holistic development of young people, to foster their physical, social and emotional health in addition to discovering talents that will become a feedstock to the country’s pool of amateur and professional athletes.

SPORT

JUST IN: Man United Extend Ighalo’s Loan To January 2021

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Manchester United have extended striker Odion Ighalo’s loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of January 2021, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 30-year-old made an impressive start to life at United, scoring four times in eight games after signing an initial loan deal until May 31 from the Chinese Super League club.

Ighalo’s current deal with Shanghai runs out in December 2022 and he is expected to sign a new contract until the end of 2024, Sky reported.

The Nigerian, who has scored two goals apiece for Man United in the Europa League and FA Cup, will hope to open his account in the Premier League when the season, suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resumes on June 17.

(Reuters/NAN)

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BREAKING: English Premier League Resumes June 17 With Man City vs Arsenal

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The Premier League season will resume on June 17, it has been confirmed.

Manchester City versus Arsenal will be one of the first matches to be played.

Aston Villa’s home clash with Sheffield United will also be played the same day to mark the return of the English top flight.

A full fixture list will then be played on the weekend of June 19 to 21, with the agreement coming after Premier League clubs met on Thursday to continue discussions over ‘Project Restart.

Details shortly…

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Ighalo May Leave Manchester United This Week

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Odion Ighalo looks set to leave Manchester United at the end of his loan spell this week, with parent club Shanghai Shenhua keen to have the striker back ahead of the start of the Chinese Super League season.

Ighalo has been a hit at Old Trafford since signing a loan deal on the final day of the January transfer window, scoring four times for his boyhood club.

But his loan spell looks set to end after eight appearances, with his initial deal only penned until May 31. United’s season will now extend well beyond that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has caused a suspension to the campaign, with United not playing since their 5-0 demolition of LASK Linz on March 12.

United still has nine Premier League games to play and remain in the Europa League and the FA Cup. They are keen to keep Ighalo until the end of this season and have held discussions with Shanghai Shenhua about extending the loan deal.

However, the Chinese authorities are now hopeful of beginning the Chinese Super League season in late June or early July, and as a result his club is keen to have the 30-year-old striker back in the fold.

The initial loan came at a time when the CSL season was yet to begin and China was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the country is now reporting far fewer cases and there is confidence the 2020 campaign could get underway within the next six weeks.

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