Talented secondary school students based in the Lagos metropolis and beyond will, this month, have a rare opportunity of playing themselves into universities in the United States of America, with full scholarship offers from two coaches from God’s Own Country.
The coaches will run a three-day talent hunt programme at First Bank Field, Satellite Town, Lagos, from December 20 to 22, under the aegis of USA-based Angels of The World (AOTW), a non-governmental organsiation that has former FC Ebedei of Shagamu striker, Machael David (Omasaro) among its directors. David said the programme, tagged First CollegeShowcase in Nigeria, will accord four to six young footballers opportunities to exhibited their passion for soccer and prove their acumen in education under the watchful eyes of the visiting American university coaches.
The excellent ones among the lot across three days will eventually be granted opportunities to attend University of California Santa Barbara, USA, fully-paid athletic scholarship, which the AOTW co-founder, who was born in Nigeria and grew up playing football on the streets of Lagos, said will hopefully bring about the discovery of the country’s next super-star.
“I wanted to be a professional footballer so badly, but God took me out of Africa not to be a professional footballer, but to save my life,” said David.
One day, a scout saw him playing for Santana Boys of Ojo, under the care of Coach Iyke Anyaji and took him to FC Ebedei, where he was given the opportunity to travel abroad, but, two years ago, he almost died from a variant of blood cancer called polycythemiavera, which took away his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
“I was mad at God for taking away my football dreams without knowing he was saving my life. The doctor told me if I had waited two more weeks, I would have had a stroke and died. God used football to take me toAmerica to save my life.
“Cancer could not kill me because God needed me to do what I am doing, helping children all over Africa to discover who they were created to be,” David added.
He disclosed further that the guest of honor for the maiden event is the head football coach of UC Santa Barbara University in America, Tim Vomsteeg, who gave David the opportunity to attend the institution on a football scholarship.
David said his vision of bringing university coaches from around the world each year to Africa is to give children the opportunity to obtain university scholarship, something that echoes the words of former South Africa president, Dr Neslon Mandela – ‘The issue in Africa is not the lack of ability, but the lack of opportunity.’