WOLE BALOGUN, Ado Ekiti
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Mercy International Mission, has organised a sports competition for over 124 indigent kids from five rural towns in Ekiti to develop their skills in sports and particularly football. The NGO also gave free healthcare and several football materials to the kids.
The gesture featured training for the participants which began months before a two-day soccer contests among the indigent kids which held at the Osi Community School premises at Osi-Ekiti in Ido-Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Administrative head of the NGO, Mr. Olaposi Olayinka, who spoke about the event said: “Mercy International Mission is an NGO based in the US and Nigeria; it provides basic healthcare for people and in its environs; it organises soccer tournaments in Ido, Iropora and we also provide free medical care for kids. We also provide soccer ball, free jerseys
“The brains behind the programme are the President of the foundation, Mr Sunday Olayinka, and his wife, Mrs Victoria, who is the vice president. The couple are based in the U.S but are the sponsors.
“The purpose for having the soccer is to show that we care for the kids. We also give scholarship to bright students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
“We were organising inter-school contests before now, but because of the rigorous way of getting schools to participate in the contest, we went beyond inter-school competition and delved into contests among 12-year-old kids in rural communities in the state.
“We got coaches who recruited players from rural towns in Ido, Igbole, Osi and Iropora who are 12years old. We are promoting sports development among these indigent kids.
“We want to advise our government that the kids are tomorrow’s glory and government should develop their talents and sponsor them. We spend millions to sponsor the programme
“By the special grace of God, we will go a step further to sponsor the best players by taking them to a football academy to develop their skills. The participants are 124 rural kids.
“There are medals for the best three, but whether they win or lose, we have lofty gifts for all of them. We have soccer balls, bag pack, Jerseys and socks for each of them. We will give original soccer boots to the best players, and we will train them. By next year, we will spread the competition to other rural communities such as Epe, Araromi and others. I urge the kids to be more focused on their training and shun being overconfident in their dealings so that they won’t lose focus.”