SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOUR
The special guest for the day was Mr. D . HOLLOWAY former commissioner for tourism in Lagos state, he was ably supported by the Chairman of APC in Orile Agege and many stalwart of the party from the Chairman’s constituency. Also on hand were the DG and PRO from the Lagos State Sports Commission
The sponsor, Mr. Kayode Opeifa had done well and has been consistent over the past 3 years in making sure that the tournament took place , it was his way of giving back to the society that has done so much for him. Commendation must go to him for sticking to a less popular sport of handball instead of following the bandwagon by sponsoring football. Mr Kayode Opeifa promised to make subsequent editions bigger and better with significant improvement in some areas; he called on corporate bodies and well-meaning individuals to support the cause. Worthy of note was Zenith Engineering limited that gave out trophies to all winners.
The tournament’s publicity banners, backdrop for interviews and trophy presentation were good and conspicuous. The publicity and awareness for the tournament wasn’t enough, the organizers and sponsors need to do more. The participant were allowed to put on just “anything”, for instance the 2 gladiators in the boys final ; Archdeacon Adelaja and Ayetoro boys wore the jerseys promoting a Gtbank who are sponsors of a secondary school football tournament.Also one of the girls school brandished “skoolympics” Jerseys with the logo of it sponsors Heritage bank.It seem absurd to see that after 2 years of organizing this competition, the sponsors and the state Handball Association hasn’t seen the need to maximize the potential of proper and good branding. The name of the tournament or name of the State Association or one of their part sponsor i.e Zenith Engineering or Sterling might have graced the jerseys used by the participating schools. Financial constraints? Going forward, the organisers should see to it that the students are properly kitted in subsequent editions. Publicity also should start at least a month before the event proper to create meaningful awareness and allow for proper planning on the part of those that are willing to support the game in every ramification.
Massive turn out of students and lovers of the game .The venue couldn’t contain the number of students that thronged to offer support for their teams, those that couldn’t gain entrance, made do with peeping from side to side.
Organization received a pass mark as everything went according to plan, even when it seem the event was behind schedule , you could see the visible urgency on the part of the organizers to make sure that they are in control and not keep the fans, guests unnecessarily. Arrangement of medals, gifts and trophies was fine, given the available space, indoor. The stewards did a great job securing the venue.
There was a turning point in the match , when the centre referee issued a straight red card ,to a student from Archdeacon Adelaja, this caused a little pandemonium, because play was suspended when the red card was issued, so it was obvious it wasn’t for an infringement,it must have been for dissent, the player must have reacted to the referee’s decision negatively.The pressure exerted on the referee from all sides to rescind the red card was a low point for me .The referee later allowed “superior reasoning” to prevail for the good of all.
The high point had to be the senior boys final; it was a great contest of wit, gut and grit. The direction of the match was unpredictable at one point it was advantage Ayetoro , the next minute Adelaja boys took over , we were at the edge of our seat until the final whistle when Adelaja successfully defended their title.
It was noised about that the Akanni brothers from Birrel Avenue high school were fantastically gifted and multi-talented and they proved it during the competition especially the junior Akanni . Going forward we should watch out for the two brothers and others that have shown outstanding qualities during the competition
It doesn’t take much to discover talents; it’s just providing the necessary environment and enablement for these young ones to showcase their God given talent. Our administrators must encourage well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of the game to be part of the drive to unearth talents that will be nurtured and developed to bring glory to fatherland.