TIA becomes Segun Odegbami International College/Sports Academy
Promoters of Nigeria’s first multi-sports secondary school, The International Academy (TIA), at the weekend announced that the school’s name has been changed to Segun Odegbami International College and Sports Academy (SOCA).
In a statement on Friday, the school said the name change became necessary to reflect the next phase in its development.
According to the statement, “the school was established and named ‘The International Sports Academy’ to reflect its dual purpose of providing a perfect environment and training, where young boys and girls with talent in sports and a passion for academics come to combine and excel in both.
“That objective, even though it has yielded fruits, has not done so in the expected numbers. The reasons have become obvious:
The first is that there is a misconception about the word academy. Most parents think it is just a place where young boys can get additional training for their football and can be sold abroad to professional football clubs.
“The second is that they do not realise it is a normal fully fledged secondary school, made up of talented young athletes.
“The third is that parents appear fixated on football as the only sport offered in the academy.”
It said the combination of these three misconceptions had resulted in not enough parents taking advantage of the unique opportunities the school provides children with interest in football, basketball, tennis and track and field.
It explained, “any one of these sports combines high level training with a pursuit of the highest level of academics and scholarship.
“In 10 years of the schools establishment, since January 2007, the school has succeeded in exporting extremely talented athletes (footballers, basketballers and tennis players) to colleges and universities in the United States of America where they are effectively honing their sports talent and getting first class education, all on full scholar-athlete American scholarships.
“When they graduate at 20 or 21, these lucky young persons will be fully ready to go into the world of either professional sport or a career where they obtained the best training in.”
It revealed that over the years, students of the school have benefitted from the “MTN Scholar-Footballer programme and almost 20 of them benefited from this unique opportunity.”
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