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Okeke, Usma, Hassan, others shine at OSFI Board Games tournament

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Winners in the U-15 to U-19 categories of the Osayuwamen Saleh Foundation International Games held at the Molade-Okoya Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos…at the weekend.

Isaac Okeke, Goodness Ekunke, Wasiu Hassan and Ayiba Usma, among others at the weekend won the third edition of the Osayuwamen Saleh Foundation International (OSFI) Board Games Championships.

The competition featured battles in Chess, Scrabble and ‘Ayo’ games from U-5, U-10, U-11, U-14 and U-15 to U-19 categories held at the Molade-Okoya Sports Hall of the Teslim Stadium in Surulere, Lagos State.

In the Chess event, Ekunke won the junior category; John Henshaw triumphed in the Intermediate class, while Isaac Okeke staged a comeback to beat the rest to win the senior cadre.

Ayomide Oyediran emerged winner in the U-5 to U-10 category, while Gerald Ekhagbai won the U-11 to U-14 class, as Wasiu Hassan came first in the U-15 to U-19 class.

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The ‘Ayo’ game produced Ocheni Iko as winner in the U-5 to U-10 group, while Musa Yahaya won the U-11 to U-14 cadre, just as Ayiba Usma emerged victorious in the U-15 to U-19 class of the competition.

The two-day championship, which featured thousands of children, who thronged the Teslim Balogun Stadium to show their skills at the tournament, was put up by the Lagos State Sports Commission to enhance students’ intellect through sports.

Speaking at the event, the initiator, Osayuwamen Saleh, said the competition was about bringing children together every year to take part in the games of Scrabble, Chess and ‘Ayo’ for them to show their skills in sports while also having fun.

“This is our third edition. In the previous ones, we have been having different event centres, but this year in a partnership with the Lagos State Sports Commission we got the nod to use this venue,” she said, adding, “The essence of this event is to merge education and sports.

“We want to use intellectual games to promote education. And we want to start rewarding children for their intellect. A lot of children are very intelligent, but they don’t know how to sing, dance and are relegated most times.

“We want to say that it is not every child that must sing or dance. We want to reward children that use their minds by giving them good gifts at the end. And we hope to take some of our winners to represent Lagos State or Nigeria internationally, depending on the response from our sponsors,” Saleh said.

At the end of the championship, various gift items and cash prizes were given to winners, including N150, 000 and a laptop for winners, N100, 000 and a laptop for runners up and N50, 000 plus a laptop for third placed, among other consolation prizes.

An excited 16-year-old Okeke, who won the Senior Chess event, said he was happy to have won his category. “I feel very happy this time around because last year I placed eighth and this year I won it. I had to prepare very well for this year’s edition because I knew I was coming to give my best and eventually I won the under 16 category,” he said.


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