Barewa College, Aminu Kano Commercial College, Minjibir Community School and Government Senior Secondary School, Goron Dutse have all emerged the winners of the different categories of the Rugby Tournament sponsored by Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited, brand owners of SWIPHA, at Abacha Stadium in Kano.
Barewa College and Aminu Kano Commercial College won the Senior and Junior categories respectively for Boys while Government Secondary School, Goron, Dutse both Senior and Junior categories for Girls.
Themed ‘iTry Nigeria Youth Rugby Tournament’, the competition featured 30 male and 11 female teams cut across secondary schools in Kano state with 800 students as participants.
Speaking on the initiative, the Managing Director of Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited, Frederic Lieutaud explained that the decision to sponsor the event stems from the company’s belief in the vital role of sports as a major vehicle for social development, healthy lifestyle and identification of talents.
“As a pharmaceutical company, which prides itself on the well-being of people and most especially young people, we have taken it upon ourselves to support the initiative to keep young people fit and healthy, use the competition to identify new talents. This will encourage them to embrace and participate in one sporting activity or the other. As you are aware, regular exercise keeps the mind healthy and we feel it is important to inculcate this idea at an early age for our kids”, Lieutaud said.
Also speaking on the rationale behind the tournament, the Chief Operating Officer, EHA Clinics and REACH Program, Mr. Paul Hogan explained that the event which was initiated in Kano nine years ago is focused on engaging school children from the ages 12 and 14 years by exposing them to sporting activities and sports education in order to help them keep healthy lifestyle.
“We started the tournament many years ago but put a halt to it three years ago because of COVID-19 and now this is the first tournament after the pandemic. It is just for the kids to have fun and be educated sport wise”, Hogan said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Education, Kano State, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Schools Sport Directory of the Ministry, Kabir Shehu who applauded the role of the organizers for promoting sports in Nigeria noted that the government was putting everything in place to ensure that sporting activities in both public and private schools be a routine.
“As far as our schools are concerned, we don’t practice activities like this. But with this development, we are committed to putting facilities in place to keep up with it on a termly basis where all schools will be given the opportunity to participate. It is no doubt that, this kind of activity will develop sports in the state, especially among the upcoming generation”, he said.
In her remarks, the Program Manager, REACH, Dr. Maryam Bashir Dantata stated that the goal of the initiative is to recruit 1,200 students that will become great beneficiaries of the basic and necessary healthcare services that we have provided.
Dantata identified the healthcare services to include health education, screening for genotype and counselling, malaria screening, eye screening, diabetes, ulcer and other health challenges.