The final stages of the maiden Governor Seyi Makinde Basic Education Schools Sports Competition were held at the Olubadan Stadium, Iyaganku, Ibadan on Friday.

The 2023 Edition of the ‘Governor Seyi Makinde Basic Education School Sport (BESS) Competition’ was organized by the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).  

After zonal qualification, across the eight educational zones, the third-place match was played between L.A Primary School, Ilora, Oyo, and Baptist Primary School, Ajegunle. 

The team from Oyo defeated the Ajegunle-based team through penalty kick-out, after a goalless 90-minute match. 

In the finals, a resilient St. Brigid’s Primary School, Mokola, Ibadan held their opposition team from Iseyin, Anglican Primary School, Igbomara, to a goalless 45 minutes, in the first half. 

However, the Iseyin team walloped St. Brigid’s Basic School, in a penalty shoot-out after a stalemate from both sides in the second half. 

The State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Abdulwaheed Adelabu who took the kick-off of the final match reiterated the commitment of the state Government to Sports development.

Stressing the resolve of the government to boost the participation of youths in grassroots sports, Adelabu lauded the efforts of organizers of the competition to actualize the vision of the present administration.

The Commissioner, who spoke on behalf of the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde said youth is the mobile segment of the Nation’s population which must be activated through games and sports for the high duty of nation-building.  

“Our young ones are the building block that must be treated through sports to acquire the requisite resilience to endure the pressure and strain of a competitive world,” he said.

He noted that the goal of the competition is to develop the skills of the pupils and fish out new talents among them at the grassroots level to represent the State at National and International Competitions.

“Consequently, the Oyo State Government through the State Universal Basic Education Board has been facilitating a qualitative learning process with the provision of quality learning materials, prompt payment of teachers’ salaries and allowances as at when due, regular training and workshops that will improve their skills/performances”, he stressed.  

He therefore urged the participating pupils in the competition to exhibit the intellectual abilities and resourcefulness expected for the success of this competition. 

The Executive Secretary, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Jacob Dairo said the maiden competition featured games and sporting activities amongst Public Primary Schools in the 33 Local Government Areas of Oyo State.  

He said the positive roles sports play in advancing national unity and ensuring Basic Education pupils are dissuaded from partaking in anti-social activities, cannot be underestimated. 

“Education is the bedrock of all developmental efforts and the entire system of education rests on the basic school level. It is in this regard that the government of Oyo State under the able leadership of Engineer ‘Seyi Makinde feels fully committed to basic education as its pride and place of priority.

“His Excellency has assisted OYO SUBEB in the attainment of an excellent position to lead other SUBEBS in the Federation, remaining a pace-setter Board in the realization of various goals of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme.

“Permit me to put it on record that the present administration has done a lot on massive encouragement of grassroots sports through Oyo SUBEB via the following remarkable achievements in sporting activities.” 

The game was supported by the National Primary Schools Games and Sports Teachers (NAPSGAST).

Present at the event were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adeniyi Olusanjo; the Coordinator, Sports Facilities, UBEC, Dr. Lydia Gbagi; Education Secretaries, and other stakeholders.

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