In fulfillment of his selfless service to his Senatorial District, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan set up the Uyo Senatorial District Constituency Empowerment Committee headed by an erudite personality, Mr.Daniel Udoh while Hon. Anietie Eka is the Secretary to bring out a comprehensive empowerment programme that would enhance the lives of his people and today history begins a new chapter with the birth of the maiden edition of the Senator Bassey Albert Akpan Under 20 Unity Football Competition for all the nine Local Government Areas which make up the Senatorial District.
The competition which is the biggest of its kind in Uyo Senatorial District is aimed at harnessing the abundant talents from the youngsters at the grassroots and further provides a platform for them to excel and a bigger opportunity to be identified by scouts for bigger club sides in the country.
Sports especially football has been one of the strongest unifying factors in Nigeria and the competition which will run from December 11-29, 2015 will give the teeming youths of the area the opportunity to unite in the spirit of the joyous season, share experiences, build new friendships, foster existing family relationships, promote the beautiful game of football at the grassroots and further the goodwill of Senator Bassey Albert to the hearts of the people of the area as a promise keeper and servant leader uniting his people to greatness through sports.
The competition is spread across the three Federal Constituencies in the Senatorial District with three centers including the football pitch of the Community Secondary School, Awat Nkang in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, Uruan Sports Stadium and the Etinan Sports Stadium.
Nine teams have been placed into two groups at a well attended ceremony for the draws which was also used to inaugurate a very strong Local Organizing Committee in all the local government areas which comprises of Supervisors for Sports in each area, Chairmen of Football Associations in each local government area, Team Managers and Stakeholders in each area to bring out a team that would make their different areas proud during the competition as the stakes remain high with the mouth watering prizes for all the teams and individual prizes for outstanding talents.
The Committee has successfully laid a new template in sport organization with the presentation of new sets of jerseys for each of the teams, practice balls and the sum of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) only to each of the nine participating teams for preparations for the competition.
The Technical Committee headed by Elder Ntieyong Inyangmme in the run up to the competition has comprehensively ensured that a well thorough screening process has been undertaken on the players of each team on scheduled dates to assess their compliance on the set rules for the competition and they must be commended for the very thorough job all through the painstaking exercise.
All nine Local Government Areas have a very rich pedigree in grassroots football and with the quality of the competition; the expectations are high as the rivalry begins among the youths on who will eventually be crowned champion on the final day scheduled for December 29, 2015 at the Uyo Township Stadium.
In Group A are Nsit Ibom, Nsit Ubium, Nsit Atai, Etinan and Uruan Local Government Areas while Group B has Uyo, Ibiono Ibom , Ibesikpo Asutan and Itu Local Government Areas as team captains , managers and the players look forward to making history as winners in the biggest football fiesta in Akwa Ibom State sponsored by any individual in recent football history.
As a sports lover himself, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan knows the importance of promoting sports development especially with the recent successes of the Golden Eaglets at the FIFA Under 17 Tournament where Nigeria won the cup a record fifth time and the success story of the Dream Team Six that won the African Under 23 Cup of Nations in Senegal.
Both successful strides of the national team also featured Akwa Ibom State sons who excelled and this competition ushers a greater opportunity for the scouts who are expected in their droves to be all over the different centres identifying and harnessing the skills of the next generation of stars that would make the country proud and also make our indigenous coaches have an opportunity to share their technical content in the directions they chart on the field of play that can change the course of a game positively.
The commitment of Senator Bassey Albert Akpan in driving this vision once again shows that he holds the youths of Uyo Senatorial District and Akwa Ibom State in high esteem and the youths who have come to see in him as a role model, astute leader and stellar performer will continue to support his ideologies and programmes as the football competition which is just the first phase of his empowerment programme for the senatorial district remains historic and laudable as we celebrate excellence among our youths.
The support given by all the nine Local Government Council Chairmen towards the success of this competition remains remarkable as the mobilisation of players, management and the supporters has been massive as the interests continues to reverberate into the various communities with very positive responses of encouragement from the people.
The strong connect the competition has provided with the grassroots remains a strong ingredient in building new bridges in our society and the flavour it ushers in the festive season remains a sweet savour as the Distinguished Senator takes bolder strides in bringing his people together for a meaningful development.
The Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA) Under 20 Unity Cup football Competition is bringing home the renaissance of a re-birth among the people of Uyo Senatorial District, a spirit of oneness among the people, a fulfilment of an achiever, the beginning of a pace that will be sustained all through his stewardship and a representation that has set new standards of excellence in leadership.
This competition welcomes the new dawn of the strides of greatness of a people and it opens new chapters that will enhance greater ideas that will propel Uyo Senatorial District to national prominence and as each team battle on the road to make history as maiden winners of the edition, it can only get better and bigger as OBA continues to set new standards in sports tourism and development at the grassroots.