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Bwari district in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, stood still last week for staff and students of the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Bwari.
It was a beehive of economic, academic and sporting activities as the school welcomed thousands of parents, neighbouring schools and dignitaries from different classes, at the occasion of its 30th inter-house sports competition.
The event did not only draw the attention of Bwari residents and a large number of guests from across Nigeria, it also brought together parents and family members of the students, alongside members of the old girls’ association that came to celebrate the school.
The school management told our correspondent that the annual sporting event was an assemblage of extra-curricula activities designed and endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Education to take students away from normal academic activities and bring a platform for them to exercise their bodies and brains and, perhaps, discover and develop their sporting talents.
Before the commencement of the sporting event, the principal of the school, Mrs. Stella Omu, in her welcome address, reminded the gathering that the annual sporting event was in line with the mandate of the school to promote students’ fitness as a critical step to achieving quality education.
She said: “Research has long confirmed that sporting activities contribute immensely to the robust health, good lifestyle, enduring relationship and general well-being of children and adults.
“It also promotes fairness, discipline, tolerance, team spirit and self-worth. The research confirmed that it reduces risk of emotional problems and improves academic performance and leadership qualities of younger generations.”
She further declared that sports builds peace and promotes the socio-economic wellbeing of people across communities and nations, in addition to the avenue it provides for fun, enjoyment, relaxation as well as reducing crime and delinquency.
The students were divided in six houses, Pearl, Topaz, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire and Amethyst, under which they competed for laurels and other prizes in different sports, including track and field.
Amid cheers of encouragement, the students, their parents, teachers and other school staff participated in the march past, and others took part in calisthenics, 100 and 200 metres race and other track events. The students also thrilled their parents and other guests with drama, dance and other intellectual displays with impressive content.
A parent, Mr. Isaac Ayokunle, told our correspondent that he was impressed with the entire sporting arrangement, especially the participation of virtually all the students in one game or another.
“Sport is good for the development of body and brain. It increases academic proficiency and social participation of students,” he said.
He thus commended the school for its unique approach in handling the affairs of the students, particularly in the development of their academic, social and moral life, preparatory for the larger world in the years ahead.
He promised to support the school in his own way so they could continue to hold the sporting event annually.
Ayokunle said: “My two daughters are here in this school. One has been here for a few years now and the other joined recently. But I must confess that I have observed tremendous changes in them, academically, morally and otherwise. I monitor them closely each time they return home for holidays. Their utterances, behaviours, manners, public relations and every other thing has changed for good. Thanks to FGGC Bwari.”
Another parent, Samira Surajo, said she came from Kaduna to participate in the FGGC Bwari annual sporting event.
“I was impressed when I got an invitation from the school. I was determined to make it and I am happy that I made it.
“My daughter is in this school doing amazingly well, academically and otherwise. She participated in the march past and two other sporting events. I was fulfilled as a mother to see her represent her Amethysts House in one of the sports. Aside from that, she has exhibited a high level of responsibility and seriousness since she joined this school. I have no regrets enrolling her in FGGC Bwari.”
Meanwhile, students from other schools in Abuja participated in some of the games. Medals, trophies and other prizes were presented to students with outstanding performance in different sporting events.