The 2023 edition of the Zenith Bank Delta Headmasters’ Cup Football Competition commenced on Friday, May 4, at the sports field of St. Patrick’s College, Asaba, with Abu-Ato Primary School, Asaba, taking on Ezemese Primary School, Ibusa.

The State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by the Chairman, Education Committee of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Charles Emetulu, took the kick off.

Ezemese Primary School, Ibusa, defeated Abu-Ato Primary School, Asaba, by six goals to nil in the opening match, which was watched by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Chief Patrick Ukah; the Commissioner for Secondary Education, Mrs Rose Ezewu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Sir Austin Oghoro, officials of Zenith Bank Plc, among other dignitaries.

In an address on the occasion, the State Commissioner for Primary Education, Chief Sunday Onoriode, said the 2023 edition promised to be action – packed, as both public and private primary schools across the state would be competing for the top position in the tournament.

Chief Onoriode stated that the competition was designed to inculcate the love for sports in children at the primary school level, encourage team spirit and expose the children to the gains in the game of football, pointing out that the competition had been sustained due to the relentless commitment of the sponsors and had recorded fruitful results in the past with the potential of continually being a platform for the development of grassroots sports in the state.

He revealed that the competition would feature preliminary matches at the local government level from 4th to 11th of May, quarter final and semi final matches from 15th to 18th of May, while the final matches would come up on May 19, 2023.

The Education Commissioner said the state government believed in catching athletes young, as championed by the Okowa administration,  explaining that the Headmasters’ Cup Football Competition was one of the avenues for achieving that.

Chief Onoriode commended Zenith Bank for its support which had helped to sustain the tournament and charged the competing schools to be fair and friendly in the contest.

In his remarks, the Regional Director of Zenith Bank, Mr Lucky Ighade, said the competition, the 2nd being organized by the bank, was an initiative of the Delta state government aimed at creating a platform for primary school pupils to flourish in their various endeavors and harness their talents, especially in football.

Ighade said the bank was impressed with the progress the tournament had made over the years and urged the organizers to stick to the rule of fair play and integrity in the selection precess to ensure the realization of the set objective of the competition.

He thanked the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, for the opportunity given the financial institution to partner with the state government and pledged the commitment of the bank to exploring alternative ways of working with the government, through its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, in order to further complement the good works of the state government.

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