The Niger Ministry of Education on Monday said that School Sports had been reinvigorated by the State Government to keep youths off the streets and engage them meaningfully.
Nigeria News Agency reports that 70 schools competed for athletics and football during the competition.
According to Salihu, the ministry will continue to give the youths the best organisation and involvement through all sporting activities within and outside the state.
“This competition is a mere test running event to see your response and commitment in fulfilling our desired goals in keeping the youths off the street with an aim of positively channeling their abundant energies adequately.”
She said that the measure would also help the government to increase enrollment in schools as sports would attract some of the boys and girls to school.
Salihu said: “Some of our children need something to attract them and from there they will develop the interest to go to school when they meet others and make friends.
“Sports and education go hand in hand and that is a fact that can never be separated.”
The Commissioner, who enjoined the students to shun drugs and other vices, added that by January and February 2020 the annual competition would be extended to other zones in the state.
She said that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development was invited for a talent hunt of athletes that would represent the state in future.
She thanked the organising committee and state government for the enabling environment to showcase the youths.
Earlier, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Education, said that the exercise was to ensure all inclusive education for all.
“We want to make sure that they are physically and mentally balanced to learn in the classroom,” he said.
Mr Salihu Koroka, Games Master, Father “O” Colonel Government Secondary School, Minna said that he was excited that his school finished first in the football event.
Koroka said that the competition was last organised in 2014, adding that it was a welcome development that the ministry had done the right thing.
Also, Mohammed Abubakar, a player from the school, told NAN: “I am happy that we won and I have made new friends.”
Father “O” Colonel Government Secondary School topped the football event, a private school, Upper Niger River Basin Secondary School finished second and Ahmadu Bahago Secondary School, Minna came third.
Edited by Dianabasi Effiong/Ismail Abdulaziz
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