Kano students battle for honours in SWIPHA Rugby Championship
Over 800 Kano-based students featured in a rugby tournament organised by Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited, brand owners of SWIPHA. The competition, organised in partnership with a non-governmental organisation, Reaching Everyone with Accessible Community Healthcare (REACH) and other partners, according to the organisers, featured 30 boys and 11 girls’ teams cut across secondary schools in the state.
Speaking on the initiative, Managing Director, Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited, Frederic Lieutaud, said the firm decided to sponsor the event because it believes in sports as a major vehicle for social development, healthy lifestyle and identification of talents.
“As a pharmaceutical company, which prides itself on the well-being of people, most especially young people, we have taken it upon ourselves to support the initiative to keep young people fit and healthy, also use the competition to identify new talents.
“This will encourage them to embrace and participate in one sporting activity or the other. As you are aware, regular exercise keeps the mind healthy and we feel it is important to inculcate this idea at an early age for our kids,” Lieutaud said.
Also speaking on the tournament, Chief Operating Officer, EHA Clinics and REACH Programme, Paul Hogan, said the event, which was initiated in Kano nine years ago, is focused on school children from the ages 12 to 14 years. It exposes them to sporting activities and sports education to help them develop healthy lifestyle.
“We started the tournament many years ago but put a halt to it three years ago because of COVID-19 and now this is the first tournament after the pandemic. It is just for the kids to have fun and be educated sport wise,” Hogan said.
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Education, Kano State, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Schools Sport Directory of the Ministry, Kabir Shehu applauded the role of the organisers for promoting sports in Nigeria.
He noted that Kano State government is putting everything in place to ensure that sporting activities in both public and private schools will be a routine in the state.
“As far as our schools are concerned, we don’t practice activities like rugby often. But with this development, we are committed to putting facilities in place to keep up with it on a termly basis where all schools will be given the opportunity to participate. It is no doubt that, this kind of activity will develop sports in the state, especially among the upcoming generation,” he said.
In her remarks, the Programme Manager, REACH, Dr. Maryam Bashir Dantata added that the goal of the sports initiative is to also recruit 1,200 students that will become great beneficiaries of the basic and necessary healthcare services that have provided by the company.
Dantata identified the healthcare services needed to benefit from to include health education, screening for genotype and counselling, malaria screening, eye screening, diabetes, ulcer and other health challenges.
At the end of the Rugby Championship, Barewa College, Aminu Kano Commercial College and Government Senior Secondary School, Goron Dutse all emerged the winners of the different categories of the rugby tournament.
While Barewa College and Aminu Kano Commercial College won the senior and junior categories respectively for boys, Government Secondary School, Goron, Dutse, won both senior and junior categories for girls.