After several weeks of planning, the maiden edition of John Mikel Obi Back2Base programme began yesterday with many youths on ground to participate or watch from the stand at the University of Lagos Sports Centre, Akoka in Lagos.
The multisport programme had many willing youths hitherto without prior registration but eager to be part of the event disappointed because the organisers over the past few weeks had registered only qualified players.
However, many of kids returned to the stand and watched with delight how participants displayed their talents across the three sports namely-football, tennis and basketball.
“I’m delighted that the Back2Base project is underway and this is one of the several ways to discover talents that can be nurtured to become stars of tomorrow. I started playing from the sandy pitch and from there I moved into manageable football field and it will be a great opportunity for many of these young talents to discover themselves,” Mikel recalled yesterday after the first match between All Stars against Agbado Ijaiye Meiran which ended goalless.
According to the organisers of the programme, the two matches played yesterday will produce the best 11 in each department and will tackle the best 11 from today’s fixtures for the final match tomorrow. Gift items and cash rewards are to be given out to the best players.
In the other match played yesterday, Almosho Pipeline took on Agbado Ijaiye Adura. Today, Ajegunle FC will square up with Evans Square, Ebute Meta while Alimosho Akinola will take on Magboro Prayer City (MFM) in the second match.
The same metric was adopted in the Tennis and Basketball events.
In all, eight teams were registered across all the three sports but only tennis had female participants which the organisers said subsequent editions will allow participants across all genders.
The programme is to be rounded up tomorrow with a Gala night and awards giving ceremony at Radisson Blu, Victoria Island, Lagos.