From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
August 5 (Newshour.com.ng) – Dr. Summers Nwokie, the President of Ikukuoma Sports Development Foundation, Owerri, Imo State capital have given goose pimple reasons why he’s sponsoring the multi million Naira 2023 Nigeria Nationwide League one, NLO billed to commence early next month in Owerri.
Nwokie made the revelation on Friday at the mini conference hall of the Foundation’s Secretariat along Egbu Road, Owerri during a well attended press briefing heralding the signing of the sponsorship, Memorandum of Understanding, MOU between the Foundation and leadership of NLO as represented by Chairman, NL0, His Excellency, Silas Agara, Chief Operating Officer, NLO, Shola Ogunnowo, Vice Chairman, Imo FA, Barrister Ifeanyi Dike and
Director General, Ikukuoma Sports Development Foundation, Julius Nnaji.
According to the sports investor, “it’s for the love of soccer and a prioritized social responsibility, and in ensuring that the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals as it concerns sports is achieved, in line with my humanitarian commitments, that prompted my resolve to sponsor the NLO Super 16 Cup Championship, slated for early September this year.
” I am an ardent lover of soccer, I played as well, in my younger days. The passion of the game has been the soul drive of my passion” he stated.
The President further observed that as an architect and ambassador of youth development cum empowerment and in line with his Foundation’s motto of, Nurturing Destinies To Greatness, that he sees football as a strategic business for job and wealth creations as well as sustenance of unity and peaceful co-existence among villages, communities, States and nation’s of the world.
He also pointed out that he has been involved in harnessing and discovery of football talents even before floating the Foundation as well as his four months old football club, Ikukuoma Football Club even as the age long sponsor of the yearly Ikukuoma Mbaise Unity Cup Competition.
The icon in sports philanthropy and administration, who last year initiated the yearly sponsorship of Imo State Secondary Schools Football Tournament expressed happiness over the performances of his team, Ikukuoma Football Club at the just concluded Nationwide League One (2) under 19 youth league held in Awka, the capital of Anambra State.
He reiterated the commitment of his sports foundation in having a collaborative partnership with football Governing bodies in Nigeria like NFF and NLO towards grassroots development of the game in Nigeria.
Nwokie expressed his earnest desired vision and mission, that his State, Imo and by extension Nigeria will be a world power in football, thus saying that, ” it’s a thing of joy and utmost honour to be given the mandate to sponsor such an epic football competition in Imo my home State, which to me it’s one of the critical ways of supporting the State Government, ably led by His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, Onwa Oyoko in his passionate drive of making Imo historically better” he reassured.
In his contribution, the Director General, Ikukuoma Sports Development Foundation, Mr. Julius Nnaji expressed gratitude to the Founder and the guests for honouring their invitation while describing the historical event as epoch.
Nnaji reeled out litany of the Foundation’s achievements within a short while but attributed all to God, visionary leadership and commitments of all concerned.
Adding his voice, His Excellency Chief Silas Agara, one time Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State and the Chairman, NLO described his visit to Imo State as a nostalgic home coming having done his NYSC in the State years ago.
Agara applauded the President of Ikukuoma Foundation for investing on the youths and putting smile on their faces especially the discovered hidden talents.
He further commended the President of Ikukuoma Sports Foundation for accepting to sponsor the organization’s 2023 Super 16 competition noting that both of them are agents of grassroots football development
Agara who’s also the President of Karate Federation of Nigeria said his vision and mission in NLO is to ensure that 80% of the nation’s under aged players like U 17, U 19, U 20, U 21 and U 23 are products of the grassroots league boosting that over 300 clubs have already registered with NLO for 2023/2024 football season.
The Chairman recalled that Imo State is reputable for producing good sports men and women, especially in football and appealed to the President of Ikukuoma Sports Foundation for re-enforcement
He equally advised him on the need for him to reactivite football developments in the South East through competitions sponsorship while reassuring of his organization’s commitments for collaborative partnership.
Also speaking, Barr. Ifeanyi Dike, (Fela) who’s the Deputy Chairman, Imo FA and ably represented the Chairman, Sir Amanze Uchegbulem thumbed up Ikukuoma Sports Foundation for their immense contributions in the State’s vision and mission for sports development and transformations.
Dike assured them of all the necessary supports needed from the State FA and enjoined them of the usual, Imo State hospitality, during and after the tournament.
Highlights of the occasion was the signing of the 2023 NLO One Super 16 sponsorship Memorandum of Understanding