The Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture (SPDC JV) has introduced an additional education award to the prizes for one of the two Most Valuable Players in the 2017 NNPC Shell Cup for All Nigeria Secondary Schools Football Championship, aside from attending the Feyenoord Youth Academy. The scholarship will take either of Masters Ernest Ojelum and Arase Iyobor of Henson Demonstration Secondary School, Benin to a four-week international summer school at the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom in 2018. Henson Demonstration Secondary School won the 19th edition of the school football competition on July 4 in Lagos and received the Winners’ Trophy and a cheque of N2.5 million.
“We are proud of the performance of Henson Demonstration Secondary School for producing the Most Valuable Players and winning this year’s championship,” said the General Manager, External Relations of SPDC, Igo Weli, who was represented by the Social Investment Manager, Emmanuel Ekpenyong at the presentation of the coveted football cup and prizes to the winners in Benin, Edo State. He said that in keeping with the championship goal of ensuring healthy interest in football and education, SPDC introduced a scholarship award to a fully paid four-week education programme for either of the two best players who fulfils the required academic qualifications to the 2018 Sussex International Summer School, with possibility for participation in youth and footballing activities of the newly-promoted English Premier League team, Brighton and Hove FC.
Edo State Commissioner for Education, Dr Christopher Adesotu thanked SPDC and its joint venture partners for the continuous promotion of education and youth development through the school football competition since 19 years now, even in the face of funding challenges.
Representative of the National President of the Nigerian School Sports Federation (NSSF), Mallam Ibrahim Muhammad, Mrs. Olabisi Joseph said, “What SPDC leadership has done is to give the victorious students from Henson Demonstration School enormous exposure and encouraging them not to miss out on education because of their love for football”.
Former striker of the Nigerian national football team, Mr. Sola Akinwale said that one of the beauties of the championship is that it encourages children to stay in school since they cannot participate if they dropped out of school.
Henson Demonstration Secondary School defeated Holy Ghost College, Owerri, Imo State by 2:0 to lift the NNPC/Shell Cup in Lagos. A total purse of N8.2 million was won by the four finalist schools — Henson Demonstration Schools, Benin; Sambo Secondary School, Gusau; Holy Ghost College, Owerri; and Government Secondary School, Maiduguri — for the development of sports facilities in their schools. NNPC/Shell Cup debuted in 1998, and has grown to be the largest secondary school football championship in Nigeria.