(L-R) Category Manager Beverages, Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Olutayo Olatunji ; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Wassim El-Husseini ; President of Nigeria Schools Sports Federation (NSSF), Olabisi Joseph ; Executive Secretary of National Collegiate Sports Foundation (NCSF) Lanre Balogun and a representy of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Babs Ogunade at the event
By Omolara Akintoye
“For over two decades now, Nestlé has been at the forefront of grassroots sports development in Nigeria through the Nestlé MILO Secondary Schools’ Basketball Championship”. These are the words of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mr. Wassim El-Husseini at a press conference held recently in Lagos.
According to El-Husseini, this year’s Championship started with over 10,000 teams participating at the State preliminaries. The winners from the first stage went on to the Regional Conference stage where the finalists who will play in the National Finale also emerged
The draws to determine the pattern of play at the finals were also held during the event. Twelve teams will play in the finals: six each in the male and female categories. The finalists include Government Secondary School, Numan, Adamawa State; Akpur College, Gboko, Benue State; St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, Bayelsa State; David Hall College, Obalende, Ikoyi, Lagos State; Government Girls Secondary School, Bukavu, Kano State; and Queen Amina College, Sabon-Tasha, Kaduna State in the girls’ category. In the boy’s category are Dutse Model International Secondary School, Jigawa State; Government Secondary School, Karu, FCT; King Amachree Academy, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Topfield College, Ajegunle, Apapa, Lagos; Victorroti Private Secondary School, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State and Bishop Dimieari Grammar School, Obom, Bayelsa State.
We continue to do our utmost to help shape a healthier and happier generation of Nigerians by encouraging them to participate in sporting activities. MILO Basketball Championship also provides a platform to help children imbibe values that set the right foundation for their future. They learn grit – perseverance through hardship, courage to overcome fear, ability to work in a team, self-belief, respect, and leadership.”
Also speaking, the Category Manager – Beverages, Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Mr. Olutayo Olatunji said “The MILO Basketball Championship now brings together over 10,000 schools every year. This Championship started with less than 500 schools in 1999. The school game has grown beyond being just a sport to a passion that helps to discipline the body and mind. We thank our long-standing partners who have been part of the success of the MILO Basketball Championship for these 22 editions – the Nigerian Schools Sports Federation (NSSF), the National Collegiate Sports Foundation (NCSF)”.
According to the National President of the Nigeria Schools’ Sports Federation, Olabisi Joseph, Nestlé Nigeria PLC has made significant contributions to the growth of sports in Nigeria and the creation of a bright future for young people by supporting and promoting basketball in schools. She said “Every year, our schoolboys and girls look forward to participating in the biggest grassroots basketball championship in Africa, which is fondly called MILO Basketball.”
Executive Secretary of the National Collegiate Sports Foundation (NSSF), Mr. Lanre Balogun, said, ”This Championship continues to grow from strength to strength, thanks to the commitment of our sponsors, Nestlé Nigeria PLC. We will all agree that 22 years of continuous sponsorship in the life of any organization is highly commendable and worthy of emulation. Therefore, Nestlé Nigeria PLC deserves all the accolades for maintaining the sponsorship of this event.”
As it is the tradition of the Championship, four best losing teams were also invited to participate in the grand finale. In the girls’ category both Government Girls Secondary School, Bukavu, Kano State and Queen Amina College, Sabon-Tasha, Kaduna State emerged best losing teams from the four Conferences while Victorroti Private Secondary School, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State and Bishop Dimieari Grammar School, Obom, Bayelsa State emerged in the boys’ category from the four Conferences
These six teams will jostle for the coveted prices of a Champions trophy, cash prize, basketball kits and lots of other MILO goodies in both the boys’ and girls’ categories of the Championship. This year, the National Finals will hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos from June 25 to July 1, 2022. The final games will be played in both the girls’ and boys’ categories today June 30, 2022″, he said.