By Akeem Busari
Football development in Ekiti State have received tacit supports from its stakeholders, patrons and the government towards ensuring its steady growth.
In recent times, the beautiful game has been given a new lease of life in the state, through the proactive and concerted efforts of the Ekiti State Football Association led by its equally very resourceful chairman, Bayo Olanlege.
Towards accelerating its developmental programmes, EKSFA appointed some individuals as patroness and patrons. These appointments widely spread across the 16 local football councils have continued to elicit untold enthusiasm in the state football community.
Speaking on this new development, Patroness of EKSFA and Ekiti State Head of Service, Mrs. Olapeju Babafemi reaffirmed her readiness to support the activities of the State FA.
” I want to reiterate my interest in the development of Ekiti youths, particularly, the football programmes of the football association,” Babafemi said.
” You know, the government is already overburdened by socio-economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, I want to encourage all well placed individuals and corporate bodies to support the activities of the state football association, “she added.
Segun Oke, one of the stakeholders in Ekiti football and also a patron of the State FA, was upbeat about the fortunes of football in the state. He enthused confidently that football development in Ekiti State is assured with the astute leadership of the EKSFA board.
“We’re fortunate to have an ingenious person in charge of football in Ekiti State. He is a visionary FA boss and I think we all should rally supports for him to achieve greater development in Ekiti football, ” Oke remarked.
Oke, the CEO of Bridgewaters football club, continued, “Right now, we’re digging the foundation for an enduring football culture for Ekiti state. There are lots of initiatives and ideas coming up from the various football councils in the state. And we want to enhance all these with the FA leadership and at the end of it all, we hope to have a good story to tell,” he added.
The Grand Patron of Ekiti State Football Association, Mr. O’Seun Odewale, fondly known as ‘Egghead’ in the football community, and other patrons including Prof. Sam Aluko, Akintunde Oyebode, Hon. Abiodun Dada, Yemi Ajayi, Tope Orolu, Prince Ademola Adetola, Otunba Folorunso Ogunleye and Babatunde Alokan, equally reiterated their commitments to EKSFA and its developmental programmes.
It is on records that the present board of the EKSFA has organized several soccer programmes including training of coaches, referees, and football tournaments aimed at discovering fresh and talented young footballers, such as the Bet9ja Ekiti State football league and JKF U15 Boys and Girls tournament.
And recently, it also held online conferences and seminars on health and nutrition that featured erudite nutritionists and medical experts as parts of its plans to develop football in all of its ramifications.