In its quest to curb increasing crime rate among youths, the Gregory Imafidon Foundation, plans to use football as a tool to enhance their capacities in chosen fields of endeavours.
Founder of the Foundation, Mr. Gregory Imafidon, in a release made available to Daily Sun, the increasing number of youths roaming the streets and engaging in atrocities could cause the nation dearly in the near future. Hence the need to take these children off the streets and make them more productive.
To this end, he said the Foundation plans to organise football competition among secondary school under the age of 15 and below. It is believed the event would hold in August, this year. It will be the second in the series.
According to the statement, “The competition is aimed at taking the youths off the street and engaging them in other meaningful activities to reduce the rate of crime.
“This second edition will include youth clubs from Edo State as well as clubs from the south- south states of the country.”
Imafidon further revealed that the competition would soon become a national event as he urges Nigerians to support grassroots youth football.
“Let’s replace guns with medals that the challenge the foundation is proposing to our local communities and the society at large. It is not just about winning medals.
“It is not just about ensuring that they participate in the competition but developing grassroots sport and replacing guns, crime and the growth of crime by productive progressive citizens through the power of sports”, he said.
Imafidon urged governments at all levels to use sport to bring about the much-needed change in the society.
He continued, “Nothing is too small or too big to give to support this tournament. I am at this point reaching out to youth sports lovers to join in the fight to reduce the rate of crime and make Edo state a better place.
“We are accepting sponsors, donations and gift pledges to ensure a very successful tournament. Hope, you remember our youth days and see the need to support this competition.”
Recall that the first edition of the tournament, which took place last year, tagged ‘Catch them young, kick against crime,’ saw Paragon Football Academy emerging the winner among eight clubs that participated in the competition in Benin-City, Edo State.
The finals of the week long competition which took place at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City saw Paragon football Academy defeating Unique Jarvis FC by three goals to nil while Fortress FC defeated Oscars Football club by two goals to one for third place position.