Yagazie Foundation, a Non-Govermental Organisation (NGO), has distributed several sports kits to some underprivileged upcoming football youths in Ebute Metta area of Lagos as part of its outreach programme.
No fewer than 100 youths benefited from the event which held at the Institute Community Ground, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Yaba, Lagos.
Ezirim Kennedy, Founder of the NGO, said that the episode of outreach with theme: “Yagazie Foundation Free Kits Giveaway” was powered by the Athens United Soccer Association, Athens, Georgia, U.S.
“ We have observed that more talents are springing up in and around Lagos, and being youths, they need all the support because the truth is that most of them are underprivileged.
“And as an NGO that is outreach oriented, we have to make efforts to contribute our little quota by supporting these young stars with football kits as a form of encouragement.
” Just recently, we received a message from U-S based popular Athens United Soccer Association, they contacted and commended us for what we’ve been doing and then offered to donate kits to us, so we are here today to give out the kits.” he said.
Kennedy also emphasised that sports and education were among the foundation’s most effective outreach strategies to impact the youths.
According to him, asides from soccer, the foundation will be incorporating other sport activities including basketball, table tennis and athletics in their subsequent outreach programmes to reach out to and impact the youth who engage in those sports.
“We include cultural and other social activities in the programme to create an enabling environment for youths who have interest or passion in music and entertainment are welcome,” he added.
The founder noted that the foundation works in conformity to the WHO’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), whereby the goal 5 talks about gender equality, adding that female footballer were inclusive.
He also encouraged them to follow their heart and work steadfastly to achieve their dreams as budding talents coming from the grassroots.
“You should remember the grassroots and give back.
“ The future is bright for you, remember some household professional footballer were from the grassroots; so, you can also become successful just like them in this career.
“ If God makes you successful tomorrow, you must have the mindset to remember the grassroots.
“Remember where you are coming from, remember your coaches, your team mates, your family and friends and your community which raised you and your schools, teachers who taught you.
“I’ve never seen a successful individual, whether a footballer or those from other professions, who remembered his grassroots and ended up in shame.”
According to him, remembering one’s grassroots helps to pave the way both physically and spiritually.
“ That is why Yagazie Foundation is here today; to remember you and give you these kits to support you in your football aspirations, and I strongly believe that each and everyone of you will make it.” Kennedy advised.
Speaking on his motive for selecting the Institute Community Ground as the venue for the outreach programme, Kennedy said, “If you look at the geographical location of this area, you realise that there are slums here.
Slum areas including the Ebute-Metta slum, the slums in Yaba, Onike and Iwaya, a center meeting point for the youths.
On the sideline, Oluwasheun Savage, a British Council Coach who runs the Premier Skill Soccer Academy in Surulere Lagos, appreciated Yagazie Foundation for inviting his team to benefit from the “Free Kits Giveaway” outreach and also the Athens United Soccer Association for donating the kits.
“ This initiative by Yagazie Foundation is a laudable development. It will help to promote grassroots soccer in Nigeria, particularly among the underprivileged children, I am optimistic that they are inspired by this gesture.
“ It has further given the young footballer sense of belonging, and more lives are being impacted in our communities, especially the underprivileged teams who can’t buy jerseys and other soccer gears for their players”.
Alade Basit, a 16-year JSS3 team member of the Premier Skills Soccer Academy, thanked Yagazie Foundation and the Athens United Soccer Association for their kind gesture and expressed his wish to play like the French footballer N’Golo Kanté.
“I feel happy for the kits from Yagazie Foundation. I thank them and the Athens United Soccer Association.
“My dream is to become a successful footballer. I started playing football at eight years and a winger. I aspire to play like N’Golo Kanté,” he said.