Ahead of the 2017 Okpekpe 10 kilometer marathon race scheduled for Saturday, May 13, Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu on Thursday declared open school pupils’ sports programme, tagged: “Let’s Play” as part of events heralding this year’s road race.
The Deputy Governor was joined by former Governor Adams Oshiomhole in the exercise which had over 1,000 pupils gathered as participants.
,While addressing the pupils at the Edo University, Iyamo Sport Complex, the Deputy Governor encouraged the pupils to engage in all kinds of sports for their physical and mental development.
Comrade Shaibu described sports as a sector that keeps children busy meaningfully aside from keeping them away from social vices.
He urged teachers to always encourage their pupils to engage in sporting activities.
On plans to have a wider coverage for the exercise, Comrade Shaibu explained that government is currently working out a plan to provide sports facilities in all primary schools across the 18 local government areas of the state to regenerate grassroots sports.
Speaking with newsmen, immediate past governor Oshiomhole explained that he instituted the Okpekpe road race to bring government presence to the surrounding communities, as well as to take advantage of the natural landscape of the area.
Comrade Oshiomhole described the “Let’s Play” initiative as a supper well -thought out plan to encourage development of grass root sports.
On his part, one of the organizers and former Nigeria Super Eagles striker, Victor Ikpeba, explained that the Let’s Play Initiative was born along the Okpekpe race to expose the children to different kinds of sports and encourage them to engage in physical training to keep fit.
A teacher who brought his pupils out for the training, Evans Uhunamure called on government to include sports as a core subject in the curriculum of Primary and secondary schools to further develop grassroots sports.
Some of the pupils who spoke on the Let’s Play sports initiative, thanked the organizers and Edo state Government for the opportunity, describing it as a good way to keep the children fit and to better build their mental frames.
In the football match between the pupils, former governor, Adams Oshiomhole side (males team),defeated the females team led by his wife, Iara, and the deputy governor 2 nil.