The 2017 most outstanding player at the inter-school football competition, the NNPC/Shell Cup, Ernest Ojelum, has been awarded an International Summer School Scholarship to the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.
This announcement was made coincides with the return of Ojelum and the second Most Valuable Player for the 2017 tournament, Iyobor Arease’s return from a week-long training tour to the Netherlands.
Ojelum was enthused by the announcement saying that his life had ‘changed’ since he participated in the 2017 edition of the NNPC/Shell Cup.
“From the announcement of my name as one of the most valuable players at the finals in 2017, the transformation to my life and world of experience I’ve been exposed to by NNPC and Shell are far beyond my expectations. Sometimes I think perhaps I’m dreaming,” he said.
Arase and Ojelum represented Henson Demonstration School from Benin City, Edo State.
Shell Nigeria’s General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli, revealed the news and the partnership that has been forged with the UK University.
“We are delighted that our new partnership with the University of Sussex has brought a whole new excitement and incentive to the NNPC/Shell Cup to validate our belief that education and football can go hand-in-hand.”
The Group General Manager of National Petroleum Investment Services (NAPIMS), Roland Ewubare, also expressed delight at the yearly development of the 20-year old tournament and its attendant progression.
“We are encouraged by the emerging partnerships with Feyenoord and the University of Sussex that have changed the whole motivations around the tournament, making it a household name in every part of Nigeria,” said Ewubare in a statement read on his behalf by the Deputy Manager, Community Relations of Public Affairs Department of NAPIMS, Julie Utang.
Ernest’s father, Humphrey Ojelum, noted that youth stand a better chance of success in sports with a solid foundation in education as being promoted by NNPC and Shell.
The 2017 edition involved about 54,000 students from 2,750 secondary schools across Nigeria and Henson Demonstration School defeated Holy Ghost College, Owerri, Imo State 2-0 in the final played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, on July 4, 2017.