by Badejo Oluwaseun
The maiden edition of Maltina School Games ended last night as 17-year old Joy Ojo of Ijaiye Housing Estate Senior High School emerged as the Overall Best Athlete of the national final that was rounded up at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos.
The budding star won three gold medals in 100m, 200m, and 4x 100 meters races to become the first winner of the major prize and earn for herself a scholarship to any federal university of choice. Aside from Ojo’s feat, Lagos State also emerged as the overall winner of this maiden edition with 21 gold, 15 silver, and 5 bronze medals just as Federal Capital Territory (FCT) placed second with 4 gold, 13 silver, and 10 bronze. Kano State placed third with 4 gold, and 6 bronze medals. Anambra took the rear position with 3 gold, 4 silver, and 11 bronze medals.
In other awards, Sikirat Anifowoshe won the Best Junior Girl award with gold medals in 100 m and 4 x 100 gold races while Moses Okon of EUBA Junior Secondary School, Lagos won the Best Junior Boy athlete with gold medals in 400 m and 4 x 100 relay. Ojo also doubled as the Best Senior Girl with gold medals in the events that gave her the best overall winner just as Onyebuchi Nnebedum of Christ Redeemer College, Anambra State won the Best Male Athlete with gold medals in Javelin and Shot Put events. Aside from the sporting aspect of the day, all the athletes were treated to high-level entertainment as the rave of the moment; Mayorkun and Teni stimulate the crowd with some of their favorite lyrics. Calisthenics display from school children rounded up a memorable final day of competition for all the participants.
The programme was later rounded up with a dinner party for all the athletes and officials where prizes were given out to deserving winners in all the track and field events competed for in the three-day national finals.
The Maltina School Games is a new intervention in School Sports by the country’s number one family drink from the stable of Nigeria Breweries PLC. Over 20 million children have been impacted in this maiden edition of the Maltina School Games which many describe as a new chapter in sports development in Nigeria.