Bayelsa and Rivers states teams set Enugu, “The Coal City’’, agog when on May 27, 2022, they emerged champions in the girls and boys categories respectively at the Equatorial Conference of the 22nd Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championships.
St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, Bayelsa State defeated Our Lady of Lourdes Secondary School, Azu-Ebonyi, Ebonyi State 43-6 in a one-sided match.
In a nail-biting encounter, the boys from King Amachree Academy, Port Harcourt, Rivers, defeated their counterparts from Bishop Dimieari Grammar School, Obom, Bayelsa, 30-20 in the boys category, said a statement by Nestle Nigeria Plc.
At the closing of the third 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 Championships 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 Championships in Nigeria since 1999.
“The MILO Secondary Schools Basketball Championships 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 Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, said: “We are delighted to be the destination of choice for the championships 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 championships 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,’’ said the commissioner represented by Dr Ochi Patrick, Head of Department, Schools, at the Enugu Ministry of Education.
The Equatorial Conference was hosted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu from May 21 to May 27, 2022.
The Equatorial Conference comprises: Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo, Anambra and the host state, Enugu.
The winners in both 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, Surulere, Lagos, from June 25 to July 1, 2022.
Over the last two decades, the Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championships has emphasised 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 Championships, the Western Conferences, which took place at the Indoor Sports Hall of Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan, will be concluded on June 3, 2022