UNVEILING THE MAIDEN EDITION of ONNA USA HOUSTON INTER-SECONDARY SCHOOL FOOTBALL COMPETITION
The ONNA indigenes in the diaspora have collaborated with the Directorate of School Sport to unveil the maiden edition of the ONNA-USA Houston Inter-secondary School Football Competition. The event saw a convergence of football stakeholders in Akwa Ibom State, particularly those from ONNA.
Representing Chairman State Secondary Education Board Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Ekaette Ebong Okon was Akparawa (Pastor) Emmanuel Ebong, Director of School Sports and National Vice President National School Sports Foundation (NSSF), who officially inaugurated the Local Organizing Committee with Bishop (Prof.) Udofot Hanson Idiok as Chairman.
Akparawa Ebong expressed gratitude to the tournament organizers and urged participants to take sport seriously as it can lead to substantial income and livelihood opportunities. He also emphasized that this tournament will help discover many talents who can represent their state and country at international competitions while applauding ONNA’s people for their selfless sacrifice in sponsoring this noble competition targeting students in community schools.
Additionally, he reiterated that sporting activities on Fridays in every secondary school across the state is now mandatory by decision of the State Secondary Education Board.
Other members of the Local Organizing Committee were TPL Itiat Itiat Christopher – Secretary/Media Director; Hon. Kingsley Johnny – Technical Director; Dr. Richard Thompson Akpabio – Medical Director; Obong Essiet Umana – Head of Logistics; Prince Ubong Akpan – In charge of entertainment and Comrade Aniekan Umana as Head Security/Protocol.
Chief Odudu-Abasi Israel flew from Houston Texas for the unveiling purposes where he informed stakeholders about ONNA-USA Houston’s lofty ideals, stating that “ONNA-USA Houston is a nonprofit family-oriented organization dedicated to bringing its members together and focuses on helping our youths prepare for future challenges through skills acquisition, identifying and nurturing talent through sports while improving health quality.”
In his welcome address, Bishop Idiok expressed excitement over the competition that is designed to bring together some of our community’s most talented young footballers:
“Let me acknowledge how important such sporting events are in our young athletes’ lives. Football transcends boundaries unites people from all walks of life.”
He further stated that without approval by Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board, this great unveiling would not have been possible.
Bishop Idiok revealed further that LOC is dedicated to unbiased resolutions during their activities while mentioning jerseys along other sporting kits had safely arrived ONNA from USA making them fully equipped ahead before opening ceremony billed for Friday 6th October 2023.
Hon Nda Nda – Local Football Council Chairman in ONNA; Mr Ita Ekpoh – Director Local Education Committee; Lady Maria Obot – Information Officer at State Secondary Education Board alongside Principals, Games Masters, student representatives attending witnessed Chief Odudu-Abasi Isreal unveiled various prizes amid transparent draws groupings & fixtures.
Competition rules & guidelines were presented to each team.