Lagos Nigeria – April, 2017.
Foremost African Financial Institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, is set to host the draws for the 2017 edition of the GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup competition on Wednesday, 19th April, in its corporate head office in Lagos.
GTBank has been at the forefront of promoting grassroots football in Nigeria since 2009 when the competition was launched. Now among the largest and most widely followed grassroots soccer competitions in Africa, the tournament is aimed at actively engaging secondary school students through sports whilst promoting the values of excellence and fair play. The competition also provides a platform for identifying, nurturing and grooming young and talented players and helping them on the journey towards actualizing their dreams of becoming world class footballers.
The season began in February with the play-offs which featured a record 575 teams, including more than 100 debutants, in the male and female categories from the 6 educational districts in Lagos. 32 of these teams – 16 each from the two categories – that made it through the first round will participate in Wednesday’s draws. The event will set the stage for the commencement of the 2nd Round of this season’s competition.
The draws is a routine balloting process in each year’s tournament through which the teams that qualify from the educational district play-offs are grouped according to their respective categories. This exercise will be conducted and monitored by officials of the GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup Planning Committee, Nigerian Football Federation, Lagos State Ministries of Youth/Sports and Education amongst other stakeholders.
Over the years, the GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup has propelled the professional careers of several talented and now renowned players like Stephen Odey – the current leading goal scorer in the Nigerian Professional Football League – who captained his alma mata – Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School, Agege – to victory in the 2012 edition of the competition, Esther Adeboye – one of the Most Valuable Players in the 2014 Competition from State High School, Alimosho joined the National Female U-17 Team – The Flamingoes – that represented Nigeria at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Commenting on the Season 8 draws, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, stated that “We witnessed a wonderful display of passion, talent and skill among the teams of the Season 7 tournament and I am certain that as the tournament progresses this year, more students will experience football on a level where they not only showcase their potential, but also practice leadership, commitment, fair play and teamwork.” He further stated that “The Bank will continue to sustain this platform that has proved quite successful in identifying and nurturing young and talented footballers, and setting them on the path to stardom while inculcating in them the values of excellence, discipline and fair play.”
Guaranty Trust Bank, a youth oriented brand, maintains the lead in providing support for education and sports to enable young boys and girls explore their talents and reach for their dreams. It is one of the few Nigerian financial institutions that have maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, most especially in sports education. The Bank actively supports in-classroom and out-of-classroom educational programmes, infrastructure development, students’ scholarship and teachers training across Africa.
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