By Chioma Obinna

Akpur College, Gboko, Benue State and Government Secondary School, Karu, FCT have emerged champions in the girls and boys categories respectively at the Central Conference of the 22nd Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship.

In the girls category, Akpur College, Gboko, Benue State defeated their Queen Amina College, Sabon-Tasha, Kaduna State counterparts 35 to 31 to emerge champions while the boys from Government Secondary School, Karu, FCT outclassed their Father O’Conel Science College, Minna, Niger State opponents 34 to 23 in a thrilling encounter.

In a sttement, Category Manager for Beverages, Nestlé Nigeria, Mr. Olutayo Olatunji said, “At Milo, we believe that through participation in sports, children learn grit and imbibe values that help them on their journey to success in life.

“We are therefore committed to the Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship in Nigeria. We are delighted that we are able to return the Championship after a break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let me use this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to developing talents, enforcing healthier lifestyle, and instilling values and lessons for success in life through this Championship.

The Milo Secondary Schools Basketball Championship will continue to provide the opportunities for developing qualities including leadership skills, ability to work in a team, perseverance, courage, self belief, and respect in these young ones who participate.

“We are grateful to our partners – the Nigeria Schools Sports Federation (NSSF) and the National Collegiate Sports Foundation (NCSF) for their support over the last 22 editions”.

The Chairman of the Kwara State sports council Bolakale Adisa Mogaji, who was special guest at the Conference finale said “I am a beneficiary of MILO sports development in Nigeria myself. I participated in the now rested MILO Squash Championship in Lagos many years ago. MILO Secondary Schools Basketball Championship is a very good development for all basketball players. As these students have gathered from different states for a bigger competition, they will be encouraged to take the sport more seriously and enjoy all the benefits of playing and participating. We thank MILO for continuing to be a pillar of spots in Nigeria.”

The Central Conference was hosted at the Ilorin Township Stadium in the Kwara State capital from the 14th to 20th of May 2022. The States that make up this Conference are Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau and host Kwara. Others are Benue, Kebbi, Kaduna, Sokoto and the F.C.T (Abuja). The Champions in both the male and female categories of this Conference will compete with winners from the Savanna Conference held in Kano from the 7th to 13th of May as well as the other two future Conferences – Equatorial Conference, Enugu: 21st – 27th May and Western Conferences, Ibadan: 28th May – 3rd June in the national final at the indoor sports hall of the national stadium in Surulere, Lagos from June 25 to July 1, 2022.

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