In what is a movement towards grassroots sports development in Nigeria, Maltina recently unveiled its School Sports campaign program that is set to impact over 20 million school children.
The program is called ‘Maltina School Games’, and it will involve students from both Private and Public secondary schools participating in track and field events that will hold across four states in Nigeria.
In a press briefing held at Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Victoria Island, the Managing director of Nigerian Breweries, Jordi Borrut Bel said the program is aimed at the development of children through sports.
“The Maltina School games is a platform designed to promote the development of children, from improving their social and leadership skills to bettering their wellbeing through sports, Bel told reporters.
“It also contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is to ensure the health and wellbeing for all, with a focus on young school children,” he added.
Dignitaries present at the unveiling include the first vice-president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, President of the Nigerian School Sports Federation (NSSF), Olabisi Joseph, Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Sola Aiyepeku and former Track and Field queen, Falilat Ogunkoya.
Speaking at the event, Ogunkoya, an Olympian and a member of the games panel, appealed to the organizers to ensure the competition was not a one-off event.
“This was how I was discovered, as a young child, I see myself in these children, with sports, their lives can be changed forever for good.
“I want to appeal that this competition is sustained, it shouldn’t be a one-off, the continuity of this programme lies in the hands of this brand, please sustain this great initiative.
“Rarely do children involved in sports have time to engage in all sorts of social vices,” she said.
Meanwhile, Olabisi Joseph, President of NSSF, commended Maltina for the foresight.
“It’s been a while since we had a brand that is interested in tracks and fields and honestly its a breath of fresh air for us: thank you Maltina, thank you Nigerian Breweries.
“We know that there is a need to keep this fire burning, we need to give these children something to look up to and also focus on their studies,” she said.
Registrations for the Maltina School Games will open on February 3 and end on February 16, 2020. Following the registration, registered schools will be required to present student who will compete in the state preliminaries heat and final events.
Winners from schools across Nigeria will advance to the National Finals which will hold in Lagos.