The grand finale of the Jayden Robinson Youth Foundation (JRYF) Secondary School Football Competition also known as the JRYF Footy Competition kickoffs on Thursday, 17 December at the Jayden Robinson Sports Center, Abueke, Ihitte/Uboma, Imo State.
After a two-legged knock-out stage, four schools have emerged to battle for branded jerseys, trophies, medals and prize money.
Eight secondary schools from Okigwe Zone 2 began the quest for honours on Friday, 11 December in an atmosphere made boisterous by excited students from all over the community, and, following two days of eight highly entertaining and competitive knock-out matches that produced eight goals, the schools were trimmed to four.
Abueke Community Secondary School, Amainyi High School, Madonna Science Secondary School and Amainyi Nta Community Secondary School have all progressed to the semi-finals which will take place in the morning of 17 December, with the finalists slogging it out in the evening for the chance to be crowned champions.
“I feel tremendously happy at the results we’ve achieved so far. Seeing all the schools, students and even the Principals turn out to be part of this competition is highly encouraging. The talent displayed by these young ones shows that the future of football in Imo State and Nigeria in general is very bright,” Jayden Robinson, Founder of Jayden Robinson Youth Foundation, said.
This grassroot football event is part of the Foundation’s youth sports development drive to inform, mentor and empower African youths to hone their skills for greater pursuits. The tournament aims to provide sports capacity and value, and above all breed the next generation of African super stars and champions.
This opportunity will afford talented players the opportunity to be scouted into the Jayden Robinson Sports Academy (football), and potentially, have the two best football talents flown for football trials abroad.
“We have set out to achieve short- and long-term goals. While we want to foster communal spirit with events like this and keep the youngsters busy with periodic competitions,” Robinson, who is also the CEO of Innovative Data Solutions (IDS), said.
“We also want to put a state-of-the-art sports center in the community, groom athletes there in variety of sporting disciplines, provide sustainable opportunities for them and maximise business opportunities that can drastically change the ecosystem in this part of the world. So, for us, this is not a one-off but a long-term systematic venture.”
There will be individual awards for best goalkeeper, best player and top goal scorer at the conclusion of the competition.