ITUEN ACADEMY TO REPRESENT SOUTH SOUTH IN NATIONAL UNDER 18 COMPETITION
Ituen Academy is set to represent South South in the upcoming National Under 18 Competition , Akwa Ibom State Football Association (FA) Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Ibah has said.
Mr Ibah said this while making remarks during the presentation of the winners trophy to Ituen Academy FC, having emerged champion of the 2016/2017 Akwa Ibom State Football league, at Itam sports Centre, where the victorious Ituen Academy played the final league match of the season with Palm Syrup FC of Ikpe Annang of Essien Udim Local Government Area.
Mr Emmanuel Ibah, also has lauded Hon. Prince Idongesit Ituen, for what he described as his unparalleled passion for sports development, with emphasis on football in the state.
The State FA Chairman recounted that, Prince Ituen, who is the member representing Itu state Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Chairman, House Committee on Works and Transport, has made tremendous sacrifice to invest in sports development in the state, by single handedly, funding Ituen Academy, which will also represent the South South in the upcoming national Under 18 competition having emerged overall winner of the qualifiers in the zone.
Mr Ibah further added that, Prince Ituen sponsored the largest ever football tournament in the state codenamed, Akwa Ibom State Community Shield, where the champions, Ikot Obio Atai FC, smiled home with one million naira prize money, among other rewards for participating teams. Over 90 teams from the various clans and villages in Akwa Ibom State participated in the tourney, he noted.
Expressing delight that Prince Ituen has camped the Ituen Academy FC for over two years, with all expenses, including kitting, transportation, accommodation, Healthcare, as well as, placing the players and team coaches on monthly allowances, with a spread across the state; and not limiting selection in the team to his constituents, Mr Ibah said, Prince Ituen’s example of giving so much back to the society, should be emulated by other privileged individuals, political office holders and corporate organizations, especially, in the area of sports investment which will positively engage the youths and foster unity in the society.
While congratulating Ituen Academy FC for emerging champions of the 2016 – 2017 league and topping the qualifiers in the South South zone, the State FA boss charged the team to go out and make Akwa Ibom State proud on the national stage.
Mr Ibah pledged the support of the State Football Association for Ituen Academy FC as they proceed to represent Akwa Ibom State in the Nationwide League playoffs that is set to kick -off at Oghara, Delta State on September 12th, 2017.
In his response, Hon. Ituen thanked supporters of the team who came out in their large numbers to show solidarity for the team and cheer them to success throughout the season. The Lawmaker also commended the State FA for the organizational structure of the league which he observed has been efficient.
Prince Ituen said, he remains committed to getting Akwa Ibom youths who are gifted in sports, especially football to national and international limelight and vowed not to relent in his determination to fund the Academy until his vision is actualized.
He commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for providing the facility at Itam sports Centre which became the home ground of Ituen Academy, maintaining that, the Sports Centre is a campaign promise kept by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Prince Ituen gave assurance that, he he will leave no stone unturned in motivating the team to go out for all the national competitions, they have qualified for, to win them. He accordingly charged the players and team officials to remain focused as they depart to Delta State for the playoffs and not allow the initial victory, or anything else, to distract them.
The Chief coach of Ituen Academy FC, Coach Effiong Okon, gave thanks to God for seeing his team through and commended his boys for working very hard and maintaining discipline on and off the field. He said the team is poised to conquer every obstacle on their way to becoming national champions and making Akwa Ibom State number one in youth football.
On his part of the team Captain, Emem Thompson said the lads were grateful to God and excited at emerging champions of the State’s football league this season. Thompson, on behalf of the team thanked Prince Ituen, who he argued, God has used as an instrument, not only to help them achieve their dreams, but to expose them on the big stage to garner more experience and harness their abilities on the field of play.
Thompson said, he and his team mates will train hard to ensure they cart away the trophy at the national level.
It will be recalled that, the Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio had conferred the prestigious Obong Sampson Udo Etuk on Excellence Award on Sports Development on Hon. Ituen during the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the apex Ibibio Socio-cultural organization on August 5, 2017.
By Osondu Ahirika