MAIDEN ONNA USA HOUSTON INTER-SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOOTBALL COMPETITION ENDS IN GRAND STYLE
,,, Government Secondary School Okat took home the gold cup and One Million naira prize money
_…1st, 2nd and 3rd teams went home with a whooping two million (N2,200,000.00) naira prize money, gold, silver and bronze cups and medals respectively. Consolation prize of one hundred thousand (N100,000.00) each to other participating schools_
The maiden ONNA USA Houston Inter-Secondary Schools Football Competition, a tournament organized by the ONNA indigenes in the diaspora, came to a glorious end on December 13, 2023, with a grand finale and a get-together at the palace of the Paramount Ruler of ONNA.
The competition, which had its unveiling on the 23rd of September and started on October 6th, 2023, featured 9 public secondary schools from ONNA Local Government Area, and aimed to identify and nurture young talent in sports, as well as to improve the health quality and skills acquisition of the students.
The final match was between Government Secondary School Okat and ONNA Peoples High School Abat, who had both defeated their opponents in the semi-finals. The match was a thrilling encounter, with both teams displaying skill and determination. However, Government Secondary School Okat emerged victorious, with a 1-0 scoreline.
Government Secondary School Okat received the gold cup, gold medals and one-million (N1,000,000.00) naira prize money, while ONNA Peoples High School Abat settled for the silver cup, silver medals and seven hundred-thousand (N700,000.00) naira prize money. The third place went to Community Comprehensive Secondary School Ikot Akpan Ishiet, who beat Afaha Inang Community Secondary School. They received the bronze medal and five hundred thousand (N500,000.00) naira prize money.
Every other school that participated in the competition was given a hundred-thousand (N100,000.00) naira consolation prize each. The individual’s awards for the Highest Goal Scorer and the Best Player of the competition went to Isaac Edet Ufot and Israel Issac Timothy of ONNA Peoples High School Abat respectively and Mfonobong Moses Jimmy of Afaha Inang Community Secondary School carted away the Best Keeper Award after displaying tremendous agility and saves during the competition.
The grand finale was followed by a reception at the palace of the Paramount Ruler of ONNA, Akwa Enin Afaha, His Royal Majesty, Edidem Raymond Timothy Inyang (JP). The reception was also a fund launch for the continuity of the competition, which received generous donations from various individuals and organizations.
Mr. John West, CEO of John West International Limited chaired the fund launch, Dr/Dr Mrs Walter & Umana Udoeyop, and Barr. & Mrs Efoita/ Lovina Ephraim and others made huge donations to facilitate the continuity of the school sports.
Akwa Enin Afaha and Paramount Ruler of ONNA applauded the activities of the Houston body and specifically highlighted the leadership prowess of the president, Obong Sam Etukudo for gathering ONNA sons, daughters and in-laws with the sole aim of further projecting ONNA in the spotlight. He made a huge donations and called on other eminent sons and daughters of the land to emulate him.
The Chairman of State Secondary Education Board, Rt. Hon. Ekaette Ebong, who was ably represented by Akparawa Emmanuel Ebong, confirmed the inclusion of the competition into the State Sporting calendar, and praised the organizers, the participants, and the community for their efforts and achievements. He also urged the students to continue to excel in both academics and sports, and to be good ambassadors of ONNA and the state.
Obong Sam Etukudo, President ONNA USA Houston hinted that the fund raising is vital as it will help to raise funds for the association’s ongoing projects and initiatives that will benefit the community. He pledged absolute prudence in the management of resources at the disposal of the association. He escalated his appreciation to the distinguished guests and most especially members of ONNA USA Houston for their contributions and sacrifices to make this event a reality.
The Sports Committee Chairman ONNA USA Houston, Chief Erete Ebong commended the effort of football stakeholders in collaboration with the Local Organizing Committee led by Bishop (Prof) Udofot Idiok for helping in harnessing young talents from our citadels of learning. He concluded that bridges shall be erected for the export of these young talents for an opportunity for them to compete with their peers in other climes.
Dignitaries that graced the occasion include:
His Royal Majestic, Akwa Enin Afaha, Raymond Timothy Inyang, Paramount Ruler of ONNA; Rt. Hon Ekaette Ebong, Chairman State Secondary Education Board represented by Akparawa Emmanuel Ebong, Director SSEB; Mr John West, CEO John West International; Barr & Mrs Efoita/Lovina O. Ephraim, CEO BAE Transport Infrastructure and Logistics Limited; Mr & Mrs A. A. Eno, Proprietor Nobles International Schools; Dr Walter & Dr Mrs Umana Udoeyop; Etebom (Hon) Engr. E. C. Itiat Udo Udang, Clan Head-Elect Asuna Nung Oku Clan in ONNA; Ven. (Dr) David Udonsek, Mkpisong of Ibibio Land; Divisional Police Officer ONNA Police Division, Dr. Samuel Edem,Chairman Nigeria Union of Teachers ONNA Chapter; members of ONNA USA Houston Sports Committee, Members of Local Organizing Committee ONNA USA Houston, Principals of Schools, Games Masters of Schools and other football stakeholders.
At the stadium some dignitaries, Members of ONNA USA Sports Committee, LOC Members were decorated while at the reception the Local Organizing Committee Members were given plaques each with insignia of ONNA USA Houston duly signed by Obong Sam Etukudo, President of the body.
The ONNA USA Houston Inter-Secondary Schools Football Competition was a huge success, and a testament to the passion and potential of the young athletes and the community of ONNA.
God bless ONNA USA Houston for setting the pace at nurturing talents from the rough.