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Special Olympics Nigeria Concludes Sports For Hope Initiative In A Grand Style

Special Olympics Nigeria Concludes Sports For Hope Initiative In A Grand Style

The Sports for Hope project, a community initiative organized by Special Olympics Nigeria and sponsored by the Embassy of France in Nigeria ended with the grand finale featuring football and volleyball sports tournament, informative talks, entertaining performances and health screening. The event took place on Saturday, 30th November 2019 at the Campos Mini Stadium, Lagos Island. The initiative which launched in August 2019 has used football and volleyball as tools of engagement to created avenues for inclusion, empowerment, and positive lifestyle choices. It has equipped 224 people with intellectual disabilities (PWIDs) and 160 people without intellectual disabilities with vital information on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), financial management, and health promoting behavior to enable them to make better life choices.
The day started with the parade of the various community teams followed by remarks from SO Nigeria Athlete Leader, Victor Chisom Umeh. Special Olympics National Director, Mrs. Naomi Ejobe addressed the athletes and appreciated the sponsors present. Mr. Udeme Ufot – a director on the SO Nigeria Board also encouraged the athletes and once again thanked the sponsors for making the project possible. The Head of Cooperation and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of France in Nigeria, Mr. Rafael Pont, congratulated Special Olympics Nigeria for putting up a great programme and encouraged the athletes as well.
The official kick-off of the games was done by the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Mr. Jerome Pasquier, signaling the start of the first set of competitions.  The first match was the third-place match in Football - Ajegunle vs. Bariga, in Volleyball- Isolo vs Ikorodu. All teams at each sport played exceptionally well, however, Bariga emerged as the third-place winner of the Football game, while Ikorodu was the third-place winner in the Volleyball game.
Mrs. Grace Ketefe from the Ceceyara Foundation – an organization aimed at curbing child sexual abuse spoke on child sexual abuse and the penalties attached. She encouraged all present to desist from the act and to report any acts of child abuse to the proper channels.
For the final volleyball game between Oshodi and Surulere, Oshodi won the games, thus attaining first place position with a 2 – 1 score, leaving Surulere in second position. For Football, Mushin won the gold medal, having scored one goal against second place winners, Agege. The celebration was contagious as members of the winning team danced and jubilated across the field.
Ribbons were presented to fourth place winners by SO Nigeria Clinical Director, Dr. Olayinka Atilola and Helene Brosseau, Programme Officer of the Embassy of France in Nigeria. Medals were presented to the top three winners by Mr. Rafael Pont and SO Nigeria Board members, Mrs. Hetty Bakare and Mr. Misan Eresanara. The Most Valuable Player award went to Adeola Adegoke of the Mushin Football team.
Isaac Success from Dreams from the Slum spoke to the athletes on how to overcome challenges in life. Musical act, Danny S entertained the crowd with his top hit ‘Ege’ while SO Nigeria athletes Lekan Ogunkoya and Dayo Adekoya entertained the audience. Lekan thrilled audience with his performance on the keyboard., while Dayo played the drums and sang as the event came to an end.

For more pictures from the event, click here 

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