by Badejo Oluwaseun
The sports complex of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos has adorned a festive toga following the arrival of the teams billed for the national finals of the maiden Maltina School Games. The games began on Monday, March 9, 2020.
The athletes are from Abuja, Kano, Anambra and Lagos states, who recently concluded their states’ finals. According to the organisers, the Maltina School Games billed to end on March 11, was introduced into the school calendar by Maltina brand to promote and foster the development of national unity and raise active kids through sports while impacting over 20 million school children of both participating and non-participating schools.
If the sterling performances recorded at the state finals are anything to go by, then the National Finals should witness even more fireworks. As expected, the 100 meters will be one of the keenly-contested races, as many will be eager to know who the fastest schoolboy and girl will be.
Marvellous Chukwukwa of Government Secondary School, Karu, who in the 100m boys’ event recorded a time of 10.52 seconds and Oniomoh Cynthia of EDDS Dutse, who had a winning time of 11.53 seconds in the girls’ race (both from the Abuja centre), are heading to the national finals as the fastest pupils.
The duo also has the fastest times in the 200m having claimed double honours in the sprints at the Abuja finals. Despite their impressive times, however, the duo is guaranteed a run for their money from the champions from Lagos, Kano and Anambra centres.
In the other events, both on the tracks and on the field, expectations are quite high going by the impressive results already recorded from the state finals.
Indeed, the iconic Yaba Tech complex in the times past had hosted a couple of formerly unknown names, who later became superstars in their own right.
This rich list includes the likes of Raymond Ekevo, Africa’s current fastest man, Alphonsus Anikeme, a former national junior and senior champion and even the queen of the tracks herself, Blessing Okagbare, who remains one of the most-accomplished athletes from this part of the world.
It is expected that the youngsters that would be competing in the Maltina School Games National finals will be added to this exclusive list in the not too distant future.
The Maltina School Games is a new intervention in School Sports by the Nigeria Breweries Plc.
It involves a series of track and field sporting competitions held pan-Nigeria, as an inter-school sports competition to grow future sports champions in secondary schools across Nigeria.
Outstanding athletes from the Maltina School Games will get a chance to represent Nigeria at international competitions across the world and that could mark a big turnaround in becoming world-acclaimed stars in their respective fields.
It has also been announced that the Overall Best School will win N1 million worth of support for its forth-coming inter-house sport. The overall best school is the participating school, which has received the most medals during the national finals.
Also, the Overall Best Athlete (OBA) will win a scholarship to any Federal University of choice. The overall best athlete is the participant who gets the most gold medals or the best combination of Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals for his/her school.