Pictures: Students, schools harvest medals, as curtains fall on Anambra sports festival

The 2023 Anambra State Sports festival has ended in Awka in a grand-style, as the industrial city of Nnewi North emerged as the best council area after hauling various medals.

The grand finale of the sports festival held at Awka township stadium.

In the U-17 male football category, Washington Memorial Grammar School Onitsha emerged as Champions after defeating Bubendorf Memorial Grammar School, Adazi-Ani, Anaocha LGA 4-2 via penalties after regulation time ended 0-0.

Similarly, Uncle Ralph de Great emerged winners of Under-13 football event in the same category after stunning their fellow finalists, Eri Primary School 3-1 in a very entertaining game.

The overall winner received gold medal with the sum of ₦1,500,000, while the first runner-up got ₦800,000.

The third placed team got ₦500,000.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, described the event as the beginning of a new dawn for sports development at the grassroots levels.

Soludo who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, urged Anambra residents to embrace sports due to their health and social benefits.

“This is a new dawn in sports development in Anambra after more than 10 years. Sports is a major pillar and Mr governor has said he will adopt a bottom up approach and that is what you are witnessing here. Sports has health benefits, economic benefits and social benefits. The government is also exploring more areas of benefits,” he added.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Anambra State Sports Development Commission, Patrick-Estate Onyedum, commended the governor for approving and funding the festival, which according to him, was an addition to the successes of the Commission within the nine months he took over.

He recalled that the festival started on May 17, 2023 with about 17,000 students from 610 primary and secondary schools which progressed through community, LGA and zonal elimination stages.

According to him, outstanding student athletes from the competition will go on to represent Anambra at the upcoming National Youth Games which will hold in September this year and National Sports Festival to be hosted by Ogun state next year.

A breakdown of the sporting events showed that Vision Secondary School, Nnewi (Nnewi North LGA) emerged the overall best performing school, followed by Ide Secondary School Enugwu-Ukwu (Njikoka LGA) and Rosamystica Girls Agulu (Anaocha LGA), while the overall best performing primary school was Central School Nimo, followed by Iyiora Primary School (Iyiora, Anambra West) and Iringwu Primary School, Nanka (Orumba North LGA).

Blueprint reports that some students from across different schools and individuals won prices for basketball, volleyball, swimming, chess, tennis, athletics, 100 meters relays, 4 by 100 meters, crickets, football, including three students who won brand new sports bicycles.