*Kicks off ‘Football Made in Anambra’ project
Poised to further consolidate its partnership deal with top Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL side, FC Ifeanyi Ubah as well as show its commitment to the partnership, English Premiership club, West Ham United donated the sum of £35,000 to the Anambra State Football Association and Okongwu Memorial Grammar School, Nnewi, the alma mater of President of FC Ifeanyi Ubah. Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah.
In line with its full support for the Football Made in Anambra ‘1 Family – 1 Footballer’ project billed to kick-off in December 2016, West Ham United donated £30,000 to ANSFA, even as it feted Okongwu Memorial Grammar School with £5,000, all geared towards the development of youths and sports in Anambra State and Nigeria in general.
The Ifeanyi Ubah Foundation also threw the school children into a frenzy, complementing the benevolent gesture of West Ham United, by making a donation of N1million to Okongwu Memorial Grammar School.
Recall that the Hammers’ delegation led by Managing Director, Angus Kinnear had earlier been in Lagos, where an interactive session bordering on the essence of the partnership was held with journalists.
The contingent led by Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah made their first stop at the Igwe’s Palace, where they paid homage to Igwe K.O.N Orizu III (Igwe Nnewi), who was delighted to receive them.
They made another stop at Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah’s alma mater, Okongwu Memorial Grammar School where they met with ecstatic school children before heading to Ifeanyi Ubah Games Village for the epoch-making launch of ‘Football Made in Anambra’ and talent hunt programme.
Speaking at the event, Kinnear described Dr. Ubah as a man of vision and full of ideas.
He said “we found FC Ifeanyi Ubah worthy of our partnership as we share the same vision and bright ideas. We are extremely delighted to seal our first partnership in Africa and we could not have made a better choice. Football is not just a game because it has the capacity to turn lives around for the best”. He added that his club, West Ham United has a long history of youth football and as such would collaborate with FC Ifeanyi Ubah to develop the budding talents in Nigeria.
A clearly elated Dr. Ubah thanked Mr. Kinnear and WestHam for the confidence reposed on his capacity to boost the WestHam brand in Africa.
He noted that he had no doubt that West Ham, who are renowned for having one of the best football academies having produced the likes of Lampard and Rio Ferdinand would add so much value to the club, adding that Anambra state has so much to benefit from the partnership, particularly the ‘Made in Anambra Football’ project which is expected to engage 50, 000 families in the state.
The event was graced by Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Solochukwu Lobelu; HRH Igwe K.O.N III (Igwe of Nnewi), who was presented with a West Ham jersey, accompanied by some members of his cabinet; Crown Prince, Obi Orizu; Senator Alphonsus Igbeke; two time African footballer of the year and Olympic Gold Medalist, Kanu Nwankwo; Managing Director of My Radio FM, Ambassador Uche Ogbuagu; Nollywood actor and comedian, Mr Ibu among others eminent personalities from the entertainment industry.
Highlight of the Nnewi visit was the unveiling of the Football Made in Anambra Project, which saw over 1,000 school children from across the 21 local government areas in Anambra State, fully kitted in their Football Made in Anambra jerseys.
It became a day to remember for the school kids when Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah announced that the jerseys, soccer boots and footballs that were given to them for the event were gifts from the Anambra Football Association, stating that it was the first step toward actualizing the 1 Family – 1 Footballer initiative.