Adepoju’s romance with Corona for youth sports development
Football in the 21st century has evolved into a career all over the world. The global recognition of the round leather game can be attributed to its ability to unite people or nations, promote fitness, sound mind and fame.
The money in it, no doubt, took the lure to the heights. It transformed the lives Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Brazil’s Neymar and Portugual’s Christiano Ronaldo, who have remained exceptional role models for young footballers.
Liberia’s president, George Weah, would always link his rise to the top to the game.
Multi-award winning 3 secondary school in Africa, Corona Secondary School, Agbara, will be hosting over 300 students at its expansive premises in April, in a special ‘Easter Soccer Camp’.
The sports fiesta will be organised in collaboration with Headmaster Sports Academy Limited owned by former Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju.
According to the organisers, the collaboration is aimed at promoting youth development and empowerment through education, to inculcate high moral and ethical values in them both within and outside the classroom, and to enrich the sport portfolios of all participants.
The principal, Corona Secondary School, Agbara, Mrs. Chinedum Oluwadamilola, revealed that, aside the school’s commitment to bringing out the best from its students, help them stay true to their dreams and follow through their passion, it agreed to go into the partnership because of Adepoju’s persona.
“With all his accomplishments in football, he has remained as humble as a dove. He exudes good values with a simple lifestyle. He has remained down-to-earth.
“As an embodiment of humility, he has demonstrated that you can achieve a lot without making a lot of noise, without being in everybody’s face, without scandals. His records are clean. This correlates with our school’s values and principles,” she said.
Adepoju, according to her, is one of a kind, having spent so much time in top flight football without scandals, even as a rumour.
“This is a typical example of a sport personality we can encourage our students to emulate. As much as we want to expose our children to football, we also want them to learn from someone who has those good values that we resonate with.
“During the camping, which is open to only youths between the ages of 10 to 17 years, there is going to be a lot of scouts coming around to watch these boys. Luckily, one or more of them could catch their interest. It is an open camp involving our students and interested students from other schools.”
Interested students are encouraged to visit the school’s website for more information. The first batch of the camp will open from April 7 to 12, while the second will be from April 22 to 27 with a limited space of 300 students per batch.
“But the most amazing of all is that the camp is not just going to be all about football; they would be learning moral values, discipline, attitudinal dispositions, how to get scholarships to European, Canadian and American universities through sport achievements, even as they interact with ex-international footballers. So it is an intensive sport clinic,” she added.
During his days with the Super Eagles, Adepoju was nicknamed ‘Headmaster’ due to his ability to easily score goals with his head.
In his address, Adepoju expressed delight at the opportunity to associated with a programme centred on improving and invigorating the mind of children in sport, exposing them to the values, ethics and the wonderful world of football.
He added: “Our company, Headmaster Sports Academy Limited (HSAL), is a sport, education and tour planning organisation established in Nigeria to influence children in sports and other academic activities, both locally and internationally. The targeted age group of participants is between seven and 17 years and they are expected to be students.”
Adepoju said HSAL, in partnership with Corona, came up with the soccer camp to connect, expose and integrate children into the international football scene.
“The youth soccer camp is a section of HSAL, which is established to create the best football experience for children by providing a solid platform for them to pursue their football career, providing professional coaches with the required equipment to train them in becoming the best, both locally and internationally.
“The benefits of this programme would include training by professional coaches, including myself, vast exposure about the game, standard equipment and chances to be scouted out by professional clubs by engaging in international tournaments.
“Football is an ever-growing and evolving platform, which has the interest of billions of people worldwide. It is our duty as parents and guardians to contribute and encourage our children in walking this path of greatness, so that they can be among the stars,” he said.
Commenting on the partnership, member, Youth Football Development Committee of Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Dotun Coker, said: “The partnership is a landmark event. I am aware that they have approached about 10 schools, and we are so delighted that Corona accepted to partner Headmasters Sports Academy, whose values are in sync with our youth football development policies.
“The important thing here is to see these students become superstars in future and have an empowerment background to fall back on. We are encouraging more of this type of partnership.”
In a chat with journalists, a parent, Hon. Justice Habeeb Abiru, described the partnership as “wonderful”, noting that nothing compares to academic and sports, as both works to better develop a child.
While seeing the partnership as a big step in the right direction towards inculcating sports in students at a very early age, the sports teacher, Mr. Joel Awuru, applauded the school for being a pioneer of sports development among secondary schools in Nigeria.