By Pelumi Abiara
Plans are in top gear for the commencement of Prof. Akin Oyebode U-15 Male and Female football tournament in Ekiti State aimed at developing grassroot football.
The football competition named after the first Vice Chancellor of Ekiti State University, formerly known as University of Ado Ekiti, Professor Akin Oyebode, is geared towards spotting talented male and female Under 15 football players across Ekiti who can be nutured to achieve great feats in football.
Son of the Jurisprudence Professor and Ekiti State Commissioner for Finance and Economic planning, Hon. Akintunde Oyebode, disclosed this in a meeting with members of the Planning committee of the tournament, on Tuesday March 23rd, 2021.
According to him, the Oyebode family desires a “Developmental Competition” where talents will be identified, after which plans can be made to develop them into the pride of Ekiti who will potentially represent Nigeria at the U-17 level, progress to the U-20 and to the zenith of their sporting aspirations”.
He stressed that participating Local Football Councils should aim to showcase their youngsters’ potentials over a burning desire for coaches and handlers’ to be champions.
“It is going to be a competitive tournament, but it must not be used to damage the kids. At that age, what is more important is a platform for our children to shine”, the highly cerebral Oyebode expressed.
Hence, coaches and coordinators at LFC levels must refrain from using of foul languages and other compulsive measures with the young players who will participate in the Competition.
He further harped on the need for character-building among young players while the opportunity will be maximazed to inculcate in these blurry-eyed kids, the norms and values that distinguish Ekiti Kete globally.
This is in addition to the relevance of raising and equipping talented and committed football administrators in the State.
“I’m very delighted that we have a young committee to be advised by our daddy (Elder Muyiwa Aregbesola- Baba Aregbe – the adviser to the committee). This will also help us to develop young administrators to take ownership of the sports space in Ekiti.
“A competition like this with young people in charge, that’s how leaders are made”, he added.
The tournament which is due to begin in the next few weeks will see U-15 football male and female football teams across all local governments in Ekiti State, battle to take home the prize.
The Committee delegation to the meeting with the Commissioner was led by the Chairman, Aziz ‘Kaka’ Ogunlayi.