Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the State Government is perfecting the Real Madrid Football Academy as a fundamental development tool that will serve as a catalyst for uniting kids from all backgrounds under the auspices of football.
Delivering a keynote address during the 83rd Congress of the International Sport Press Association ( AIPS) in Budapest, Hungary on Tuesday, Governor Wike noted that sports is an avenue to raise young people with the right character and determination to be successful in life.
He said: “In Rivers State, more than 50% of the population falls within the age brackets, where talents can be discovered, skills can be sharpened and dreams can be fulfilled through pragmatic nurturing, training and motivation. And football, among other sports, presents itself as one of the best possible way to raising generations of young people with character and determination to achieve outstanding results and prosperity.
“We are therefore promoting the Real Madrid Football Academy, Port Harcourt, as a fundamental development tool, with its foundation anchored on the combination of quality education and excellent soccer, which you know, is a catalyst for bringing together kids from all backgrounds with a common passion for football.”
Governor Wike said the Real Madrid Football Academy was initiated to use football as a means to transform the lives of young people.
He said: “It is true that the future of any country or society is revealed in the character and quality of its youth. But what the youth eventually become in life is also founded on the extent and quality of education and skills they acquire from the cradle to the age of responsibility.
“It has been proven time and time again, that for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, but with latent talents, a successful career in professional football is a sure ticket out of poverty. History is also replete with several inspirational stories about young men and women who have migrated from rags to riches as a result of engaging in successful professional football and other lucrative sporting careers.
“What this means is that the values of football and education are both important and can coexist as a medium to drive the development, character and prosperity of our youth.
This was the spirit that motivation for the establishment of Real Madrid Football Academy, Port Harcourt, which foundation was laid on Monday May 28 2018, by the President of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad, supported by other national and international dignitaries, including my good friend and President of AIPS, Gianni Merio.”