By Our Correspondent
In the spirit of continuity, Senator Representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Hon Henry Seriake Dickson has officially unveiled the Henry Seriake Dickson Football Tournament, Ofurumapepe Cup revelling that the tournament is aimed at youth empowerment and grassroot development.
Addressing Journalist in Abuja at the unveiling on Friday, Hon Dickson insisted that this was a fulfilment of the promises he made to the people while in government as the governor of Bayelsa state to prioritise sports development in the state.
According to Hon Dickson, through the Henry Seriake Dickson foundation, the lives of youths in the state will be transformed through Sports which will bring youth restiveness, cult activities and other vices to it’s barest minimum.
He explained that the records will show that sports were one of the projects he took seriously as the governor adding that the tournament will amongst others encourage the development of grassroot sports and apart from football, traditional wrestling swimming will also be introduced considering the terrain of the state.
‘‘As a governor we promoted sports development, we took wrestling to the national award stage and I am happy to mention that most of our athletes are doing well and they benefited from that program. So, the ofurumapepe football competition is hereby unveiled.
‘‘With the ofurumapepe cup, our dream of promoting grassroot sports development did not end with my tenure as a governor, as I promised through the Henry Seriake Dickson foundation we will continue with this laudable objective.
‘‘By next week our local organising team will be meeting with all the community youths in the Bayelsa west senatorial district and all necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the best results are achieved as expected’’ he stated.
With the theme ‘‘Youth empowerment for Peace and Development’’ the sports loving senator explained that football and traditional wrestling has been expressively harnessed by his administration adding that the cup instituted was in honour of his late father who was a maiden wrestling champion.
He however called on youths in the region to actively identify with the ofurumapepe football tournament and channel their very productive energy towards initiatives that will develop their minds and body.
‘‘I also want to use this opportunity to call for peace in all our communities as the youths come out in mass to participate. I call for the spirit of sportsmanship there will be no losers at the end of the events. I also want to call on all our security agencies to support this initiative’’ he said.
Speaking earlier, Technical Consultant of the Henry Seriake Dickson Football Tournament and Ofurumapepe Cup , Mr Ono Akpe, while enumerating the various prizes that are up for grabs stated that all is set for the kick off as Hon Henry Dickson has provided all the jerseys, sports kits, football, trophies among others for the 76 participating communities.
‘‘On Wednesday 17 November, Jerseys and sports kits will be presented to the 76 communities in Sagbama and Ekeremor local government area which makes up the Bayelsa west constituency while the finals will be held on Wednesday,22 December at Toro-oruwa Sagbama.
‘‘The first price is 1.5 million naira, 2ndPrice is 1 million naira, 3rdPrice is N500,000, 4thPrice is N250,000.
‘‘There is going to be 6 constituency champions from the 2 constituency, 3 from Sagbama and 3 from Ekeremor each will get N250,000 and the runners up at the constituency level will get N100,000 each.
‘‘For the next two months from November to December, youths of Bayelsa West Senatorial district will be actively engaged.
The Ofurumapepe football tournament, according to the organisers, is scheduled to kickoff on Sunday 21 November.