Speech Presented by Mr. Eugene Akhere at the 2nd Inter–House Sports Competition of Jesuit Memorial College, Port-Harcourt held on the 16th of November 2019
Good day dear parents, our guests, students, staff and management of JMC.
I feel highly honored to be the chairman of today’s occasion. In fact, when Fr. Ugorji called to ask me to chair the 2019/2020 inter-house sports competition, I was taken aback and answered, “Me ke?” Anyway, here we are! It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this 2nd inter-house sports competition at Jesuit Memorial College.
I want to thank the school management, on behalf of all the parents of our Precious Pearls, for providing this wonderful opportunity for our children to also compete in sports and not only in academics. We are all aware of the various challenges that JMC contends with in terms of sports facilities. However, the commitment of the school management, together with the staff, to sports, and the total development of our children into adults/leaders of tomorrow are the reasons we are all gathered here today. I am sure that we will be treated to the athletic performance of high quality over the course of this sports competition.
The importance of sports cannot be over-emphasized. Outside the discipline and academic brilliance that sports promote, they provide an opportunity for people to come closer to one another, to form bonds, friendships, etc. I would like to share with you a quote from Jesse Owens, the legendary Black American athlete who won four gold medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. “Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust”.
Certainly, we are about to watch our children put their skills and talents fiercely against their mates from other houses, but I encourage them to also make the most of this wonderful opportunity to showcase best athletic talents and spirit of comradeship.
I would like to thank all the staff that committed their time and talent to prepare our children for this competition. They have contributed to raising the overall standard of the school’s sports competition and building stamina/endurance/perseverance, etc, in our children. I think only a few people will dispute that sports make us strong, healthy. And most of all, they teach us to accept defeat, which in itself inspires determination to do better tomorrow, while at the same time celebrating the victory of the opponent. These lessons are vital to our children’s development and are building blocks for success in life.
In closing, I wish us all success and may the better athlete win. I am at this point delighted to declare the inter-house sports competition OPEN.
Chairman’s Opening Remarks delivered by Mr Eugene Akhere on the occasion of the 2nd annual inter-house sports competition of Jesuit Memorial College on Saturday 16 November 2019. Mr Akhere is the chairperson of the Lagos branch of the school’s Parents Association.