Barely six months after the 1 GAME: Goal against Violence project was launched, pupil awareness on the initiative will officially begin on Tuesday, May 22 at the U. J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Coordinator of the project and former Super Eagles Striker Jonathan Akpoborie while making the announcement said awareness on the project will form part of the 3rd edition of the Cross River State Primary/Secondary Schools Athletics Championship which begins same day and ends on Saturday, May 26.
“We’ve decided to kick off with the Schools Athletics Championship which starts on Tuesday,” he told sports writers. “The championship will offer an opportunity for young athletes to be educated on the objectives of the ‘Goal against Violence’ project.”
Asked why awareness on the project will kick off in an event based on athletics despite having an objective to promote the essence of fair play and unity in football at school level, Akpoborie replied: “This is not the field work. What we are doing is creating awareness and sensitizing these young pupils. They need to know what this project is about and get set for it. This action is part of the project’s work plan.”
“I do admit football is the focal point but it’s important to also educate those involved in other sports. Unity and fair play is essential to not just football. More so, at this level, lots of pupils get involved in more than one sport, some aspiring footballers will be involved in the championship, so it’s necessary for us to act in multiple areas.”
With hundreds of primary and secondary school pupils across the eighteen Local Government Areas of Cross River State expected to take part in 12 different events during the championship, Akpoborie believes a generation of young aspiring athletes will begin to think positively about fair play in sports.
“The Objective of this project is to ensure that young school pupils understand the true essence of fair play and unity while involved in sports particularly football. I believe a generation will begin to think positively after this.”