Nwanneka, wife of Senator Ike Ekweremadu welcoming Nwankwo Kanu

The two-week long 2018 Ikeoha Youth Sports Championship came to a colourful end at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, on Sunday with four footballers landing overseas career opportunities.

Speaking with newsmen at the end of the finals witnessed by former captain of the Super Eagles, Kanu Nwankwo, and the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, among others dignitaries and sportsmen and women, the sponsor and Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, explained that the sports fiesta was in furtherance of his human capital development agenda for the youth and efforts to help them to “be happy and find recreation at a very frustrating period in our political history”.

“This is one way of giving them an opportunity to express themselves in sports, then encourage them to be whatever they want to be and to be the best of it.

“Today, I feel so fulfilled that we have discovered a lot of talents. We brought in one of the most accomplished footballers in the country, Kanu Nwankwo, and he has identified four players, who are products of this Championship that he will take abroad for trials. That is exactly one of the things I wanted to achieve and I am happy I have achieved it.

“Kanu Nwankwo also agreed to invite some of the basketball players for trials abroad and of course, these are some of the things I wanted to achieve, and I am happy that we did achieve them.”

“We want to create a pool of sports men and women in Enugu state and we believe that will be a feeder to the Nigerian sports environment and probably, as I said, we are going to export some of these guys. The money they will make money will have a multiplier effect on Nigerian economy”, Ekweremadu added.

Meanwhile, it was both medals and cash rain at the finals as Ezeagu Local Government Area (LGA) overcame Aninri LGA in a 2-0 thriller to cart away the football trophy and N1 million prize money, while the silver medalists, Aninri LGA, took home N500,000. Awgu LGA won bronze at the expense of Oji River after a pulsating encounter decided by penalty kicks that ended in their favour.

In the women basketball competition, Awgu LGA defeated Aninri LGA 24-10 to win gold, while Oji River LGA beat Udi LGA 54-34 to win gold in the men category.

In the same vein, winners in the men and women’s sprint and relay were also decided.

Onyekachi Christian from Oji River LGA won the men 100m race, Agu Nnaemeka from Awgu LGA won silver, while the bronze medal went to Eze Francis also from Awgu LGA.

In the girls 100m, Iloh Onyedi from Oji River LGA emerged the gold medalist; Udi LGA won silver, while bronze went to Oji River LGA.

Obinna Nwobodo from Awgu LGA was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Championship, while Oji River LGA emerged the overall winner with the most medals won.