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Charlie-Marie Schools launches Sports academy, 600-capacity mini stadium in Ogun

Charlie-Marie Group of Schools Launches Sports Arena and Academy, in Eriyo-Ogijo community, in Ogun State Photos: Charlie-Marie Schools

*Evangelist Akin Taylor, President and Proprietress of Charlie-Marie Sports Arena and Academy, in Eriyo-Ogijo community, in Ogun State, says the project is targeted at helping to discover, unbundle and nurture grassroots sporting prospects among the community, adjoining hinterlands as well as pupils and students

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

It is said that one of the biggest challenges of sports development in Nigeria is lack of adequate infrastructure and ultra-modern facilities.

For this factor, sports especially at the grassroots remain in a sorry state across the country.

Charlie-Marie Group of Schools, under the visionary leadership of the Proprietress Evangelist Adekunbi Akin-Taylor, among few other  individuals, is changing that narrative with its interventions aimed at providing state-of-the-art sporting facilities.

Ambassador Evangelist Adekunbi Akin-Taylor (r) at the Presentation of An Award by Oba Kazeem Okuselu 1 of Ogijo, the Ologijo of Ogijo at the Event       

The Schools officially launched the Charlie-Marie Sports Arena and Academy in Eriyo-Ogijo Community, a suburb under the Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The sporting facility, which is intended to be a 600-capacity mini sports ground, is estimated to cost about N60 million upon completion with over 50 percent of the estimated cost already expended.

The arena has different sports facilities, including a football field, a six lane tracks which will cater for athletics, tennis court, basketball, table tennis among other sports.

The inauguration of the Arena and Academy witnessed a sports carnival of some sorts as children from Charlie Marie Group of Schools and other schools from neighbouring communities gathered in their numbers to compete in different sporting events especially in athletics, cultural display, choreography while parents were equally not left out as they took part in Penalty Kicks, Ball in the Hole, Bottle Flip, Noodles Feeding, Track Grocery Shopping and novelty table tennis games.

Speaking on the facility, Evangelist Akin Taylor, President and Proprietress of the Academy, said that the facility is completely a community-based, Non-Governmental and Not-For-Profit sporting outfit.

According to her, the project is targeted at helping to discover, unbundle and nurture grassroots sporting prospects among the community, adjoining hinterlands as well as pupils and students.

“We are committed to sporting development mainly at the grassroots, we know that talents abound in Nigeria, and our vision is to raise superstars from zero to heroes.

“Our conviction is to provide an enabling sporting environment where the children of the less-privileged will have access to good facilities, trainings, mentorship, sports scholarships and exposure that will propel them to stardom,” she said.

Although the project is yet to be fully completed, it is noted, the facility, however, has reached advanced stages and is already opened for community use.

Austin Orogun, Academy Director, also said part of the plans is to work in partnership with both local and international bodies such as the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), National Institute of Sports (NIS) to get qualified coaches that will help nurture talents at the Academy.

Orogun stated: “We are very much aware that sports development and education are interconnected and our philosophy is to put into practice ‘The Catch Them Young’ objective.

“The grassroots is a very important part of the society and national development, and we believe if we get it right then there will be much less to worry about for the future of our youths and that is one of the reasons this project is very dear to our hearts.”

Oba Kazeem, the Okuselu 1 of Ogijo Kingdom, the  Traditional Ruler of the Area, speaking at the event, expressed delight at the project and commended the vision of the Proprietress Akin-Taylor for locating the sports facility in the area.

The Royal Father assured of getting the attention of the government to further help in attracting development to the community and admonished the facility be opened to other schools in the area for use.

Two of the Academy athletes, Iremiposi Yusif and David Simon expressed their satisfaction on the benefit of the Academy and sports arena in their community.

“I am very much thrilled about this because it will help to improve my performance and that of other athletes.

“I have participated in some national competitions before and now this sports academy will enable me do better in the future,” Basirat echoed with much excitement.

Similarly, David commended the efforts of the founder of the academy for her courageous steps to situate the mini sports stadium in the area to encourage athletes like him.

He stated: “We are thankful to our proprietress for her vision, now we can do better when we go for competitions because we can train better.”

With such impressive sports academy and facility, the future surely promises a lot for the athletes and one can only say Up School, Up Charlie Marie, said the leadership of Charlie-Marie Schools.

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