Teams from Bayelsa and Rivers States set Enugu – the coal city – agog on Friday, May 27, 2022, when they emerged champions in the girls and boys categories respectively at the Equatorial Conference of the 22nd Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship.
St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, Bayelsa State defeated Our Lady of Lourdes Secondary School, Azu-Ebonyi, Ebonyi State 43 to 6 in a one-sided match, while in a nail-biting encounter, the boys from King Amachree Academy, Port Harcourt, Rivers State defeated their counterparts from Bishop Dimieari Grammar School, Obom, Bayelsa State 30 to 20 in the boys category.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 3rd in the four series Conferences held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu, Category Manager for Beverages, Nestlé Nigeria, Mr. Olutayo Olatunji said, “We are delighted that the MILO Secondary Schools Basketball Championship is back after a break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At MILO, we believe that sports provide a platform to teach children grit and help them imbibe values on their journey to success in life. This is why we have been committed to the MILO Secondary Schools Basketball Championship in Nigeria since 1999.
“The MILO Secondary Schools Basketball Championship will continue to provide the opportunities for developing qualities including leadership skills, ability to work in a team, perseverance, courage, self-belief, and respect in these young ones who participate.”
The Enugu State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze who was represented by Dr. Ochi Patrick, HOD Schools at the Enugu State Ministry of Education said, “We are delighted to be the destination of choice for the championship and to be able to provide a befitting facility and conducive environment with adequate security for hosting these young talents.
“I am particularly happy to see the students and the joy the championship has brought to them, especially the winners. The participation of youth in events like this helps to direct their minds to productive activities and away from vices.”
The Equatorial Conference was hosted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu from the May 21 to 27, 2022.
The Equatorial Conference comprises: Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River and the host state, Enugu. Others are Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo and Anambra.
The winners in both the male and female categories will compete with winners from the Savanna Conference, and the Central Conference, as well as the upcoming Western Conference, in the national finals at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos from June 25 to July 01, 2022.
Over the last two decades, the Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship has emphasized the importance of grit to teach schoolchildren vital life values such as determination, tenacity, endurance, perseverance, teamwork and self-confidence.
The last Conference of the 22nd Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship – Western Conferences – taking place at the Indoor Sports Hall of Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan, will be concluded on Thursday, June 3, 2022.