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Step Up: Start-Rite Schools Inter-House Sports 2024

Interhouse Sports. Sporting event

On February 24, 2024, the pupils and students of Start-Rite Schools gathered at the main bowl of the National Stadium Abuja for the co-educational institution’s sixth inter-house sports competition to display their sporting talents and skills in various games.

Grouped into four Houses, Jasmine, Ivy, Bluebell and Cherry, it was a delightful moment as parents, teachers and invited guests watched the students battle for trophies in the different games.

Some of the Games/Events that featured in the inter-house sports themed ‘Step Up’ included March Past, Cheerleading, Athletics, Football, Dodgeball, Volleyball, Badminton, Table Tennis, Handball, Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, Egg Race, Hula Hoops, Chain Relays Race, Skipping and Tug of War.

Bluebell House emerged the overall winner with a total of 830 points. Jasmine House came second securing 815 points. The third position went to Ivy House with 790 points while Cherry House placed 4th scoring 785 points. It was a fun-filled day for the students as they all joyfully celebrated the results with a show of great sportsmanship.

The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan-Enoh was ably represented by Dr. Paul Onyeudo, Director of Sports Medicine, Federal Ministry of Sports Development. The Advisory Board Chairman of Start-Rite Schools, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba took the salute from the students during the colourful march-past alongside a member of the board, Dr. Nelly Oburo and the School’s Principal, Mr. Femi Akinlade. Also in attendance were the Chairman, Victor and Amaka Ndoma-Egba Foundation, Mr. Joseph Oru, Vice-Chair, Start-Rite Schools Advisory Board, Mrs. Helen Oru.

The Inter-House Sports event was supported by Nigerian Red Cross Society of Nigeria, Zenith Medical and Kidney Centre, Victor and Amaka Ndoma-Egba Foundation (VANEF), Kellogg’s, Ecobarter, New Horizons Nigeria and School Boox.

In his welcome address as the Advisory Board Chairman, Ndoma-Egba, a former Senate Leader and ex-Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said: “It is with pride and excitement that I extend a warm welcome to each and every one of you to the 6th Edition of Start-Rite Schools Inter-House Sports Competition. Looking at the vibrant sea of house colours, I am reminded that there is no event quite like this in any other school.

“Here, at Start-Rite, we redefine excellence, passion, and unity. Through sports, we instill in our students the values of hard work, dedication, sportsmanship, and teamwork. These principles are the cornerstone of their physical fitness and overall well-being, shaping them into well-rounded individuals ready to conquer any challenge that comes their way. The anticipation leading up to this event has been nothing short of electric.

“Our students have demonstrated remarkable character and skill, earning valuable points for their houses. Behind the scenes, our ever-present parents have shown immense support, ensuring our children are motivated and ready to shine brightly today. With ‘Step Up’ as our guiding theme this year, we are inspired to push boundaries, overcome obstacles, and reach new heights of excellence.

“As we cheer on our athletes and express excitement at their achievements, let us remember that good sportsmanship extends beyond the scoreboard; it is reflected in our actions both on and off the field, characterised by respect, integrity, and fair play. So, to the students of Start-Rite Schools, this is your moment to shine. You are champions in every sense of the word.

“Champions don’t merely show up to receive everything they desire; they show up to give everything they have. Give your all, not just for your house, but for yourselves. To our parents, thanks to each and every one of you for your support and commitment. May this event be filled with unforgettable memories that unite us as one big and happy family.”

The representative of the Sports Minister, Dr. Onyeudo, in an interview, said: “For me it is a good event. For us in the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, this is the sort of things we would like to see because it aligns with the mandate and the mission of the ministry which essentially is sports development. And we can’t develop sports without discussing grassroots development. So when you see young people, so passionate, see the way they were running, the way they were doing their sports with a lot of passion, energy, desire and competitiveness. This is some of the things you want to see at an early age. So for us it’s a good sign that Nigeria has a lot of potentials.”

On what the ministry of sports is doing to use school’s inter-house sports competitions as avenue for talent hunt, the Director, Sports Medicine, explained: “If you understand sports very well, what you see is that sports is on the concurrent list. So the federal ministry works on the policy direction. And of course we have national federation that are responsible for each of the sports. And within this federation you have a scouting system. You have people who have the experience, who identify these talents. Like you have this inter-house sports now, there are so many of them going on. There are so many grassroots programme going on. We have national youth games going on. So it is from events like that you begin to identify talents and begin to harness them. What happens in sports is that as they are doing this now, so many people are watching and they will know. So it is always like that. So for the ministry there are a lot of eyes everywhere trying to identify talents from all these events.”

He added that “For me this is the contribution of this school (Start-Rite) to the development of sports in Nigeria. That is the summary of what they have done today.”

The international partnership manager of Start-Rite Schools, Mr. Daniel Chukwuemeka anchored the event along with his colleague, Mrs. Christy Ekanem, Vice Principal Operations, stated that “Start-Rite Schools stands as a beacon of character building and academic excellence. In our commitment to fostering holistic development, sports play a pivotal role. The recent Inter-House Sports event exemplifies our dedication to nurturing not only academic achievers but also budding athletes.”

Mr. Chukwuemeka noted that “Recognising the significance of a balanced education, Start-Rite embraces sports as a channel for character development, teamwork, and resilience. The triumph of our U-12 and U-14 Nigerian Champions in Lawn Tennis (Chukwudubem Amasiani and Chukwubuikem Amasiani) among others reflects our commitment to excellence beyond the classroom.

“With regards to the last Inter-House Sports Competition, under the theme ‘Step Up,’ this year propels us forward with a collective determination and a champion spirit. It serves as a rallying cry, urging every member of our community to overcome challenges, transcend fears, and strive for excellence. Start-Rite Schools remains a nurturing ground where students can step up, not just academically, but also athletically, embodying the values of sportsmanship, fairness, and integrity.”

Originally written by Michael Jegede

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