MTN Soccer Scholars Harp On Importance Of Education

Finalists in this year’s edition of the MTN Football Scholar Scheme have said that the role of education in sports development can no longer be taken for granted.

They said this on Saturday at Airforce Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos where they sat for their final Scholastic Aptitude Test examination to qualify them for admission into American and Canadian Universities.

After the examination, they said playing football at any level nowadays, requires good metal alertness and quality education to make one compete favourably at the global level.

One of them, Babatunde Abimbola, a Senior Secondary School two student of Lagos City College, Yaba, said the current happenings around the world have really underscored the role of education in sports.

He said, “I can’t imagine someone going fully into football today without being educated, unless that person wants to toy with his future. I am aware that a good number of our national team players have basic education while some of them are doing one thing or the other to be educated. A good example is the present Nigerian goal keeper who is a university graduate. I think most importantly, one must be mentally sound to play good football.”

In the same vein, Yahaya Abdumalik, a 2011 graduate of National High School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said it has not been easy for him to combine education and his passion for soccer.

But he stated that MTN came to his rescue with its football scholar scheme.

He added, “I am grateful to MTN for this scheme. In fact, it has really answered my prayers and I believe I’m going to come out successful in this examination to secure the MTN Football Scholarship,” he added.

Eighteen-year-old Ebenezer Irieguna noted that the game of football was no longer for drop-outs and layabouts.

“Today, playing football without quality education is like placing fire on your roof while asleep.

“Football has gone beyond child play or one’s regular hobby, it is now business, and a means of livelihood. It is a recognized profession where the players and practitioners are treated with respect and accorded maximum recognition wherever they go.”

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