The modalities for the maiden Government College Ughelli, GCU Relays, have been released.
According to the organising committee for the 1st GCU Relays, at least 20 secondary schools from across the country will be competing in the one-day event fixed for November 17 at the ultra-modern tartan tracks recently presented to GCU by Shell/NNPC.
Roy Odoko, the Secretary-General for Government College Ughelli Old Boys Association told PREMIUM TIMES in Lagos that the GCU Relays is targeted as a vehicle to promote social integration through strategic development of athletics and the restoration of healthy sports rivalry among secondary schools nationwide as it was in the old days.
Some of the schools invited are Kings College, Lagos; St.Gregory’s College, Obalende- Lagos; Igbobi College, Yaba-Lagos; Government College, Ibadan; Edo College, Benin-City; Federal Government College, Warri; Hessey College, Warri; Urhobo College, Effurun; St. Patrick’s College, Asaba; Orogun Grammar School, Orogun.
Others are Government College, Umuahia; Queens College, Lagos; Idia College, Benin-City; Baptist Girls School, Agbor; Oharisi College, Afisere-Ughelli; Anglican Girls Grammar School, Ughelli; St. Theresa’s College, Ughelli; James Welch Grammar School, Emevor and Anglican Girls Grammar School, Asaba.
Having produced several world-class athletes in times past who went as far as representing Nigeria at the Olympic Games, a member of the GCU Relays planning committee, Ejiro Omonode, said he is confident that more talents will be unearthed with this new initiative.
Omonode who finished from GCU over three decades ago and represented Nigeria in Cricket was also a state champion in Tennis. He called on corporate Nigeria as well as other individuals to support the event.
He said: “The GCU Relays is essentially about getting back the glory days of athletics with schools sports. Also, we have been fortunate to have a modern track put together by Shell Petroleum Development Company and for us, such facilities should not be meant for only local inter-house sports. We should expose it to the rest of the country and that is why we are inviting schools, especially schools that we shared traditional relationship with over the years; the government colleges, the federal government colleges and some of those elite schools of the past.
“The door is open for individuals and corporate organizations to partner with us, support cannot be too much. Brands are attracted to properties that are highly of quality and attraction and so we expect that as we make progress, the brands will come in their droves,”
GCU Relays is an intercollegiate invitational athletics competition that will feature 100m, 200m, 4x100m relays and 4x400m relays for boys and girls.
The organisers are hopeful that the GCU Relays will be rivaling top word acclaimed relays like the Penn Relays in no distant time.
Tunde Eludini is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he studied International Relations. He is a Senior Correspondent coordinating the sports section for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter: @tundeyeludini