Programme director lists gains of MTN Football Scholar project

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Senior Vice President, Peculiar Peoples Management (PPM), Kikelomo Atanda-Uchidiuno, who is the Programme Director, MTN Football Scholar Programme, (second from left); Permanent Coach, MTN Football Scholar, Joe Erico (fifth from left) and the MTN football scholars team at the National Stadium, Lagos. PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO

The Programme Director, MTN Football Scholar Programme, Kikelomo Atanda-Uchidiuno, who is also the Senior Vice President, Peculiar Peoples Management (PPM), has revealed that the project has opened a new vista of life for Nigerian budding stars.

Atanda-Uchidiuno, who believes MTN should be commended for sponsoring 21 Nigerian youths to universities in the United States on a five-year scheme, where they will also be trained as professional footballers, describes the opportunities it presents to the country’s youths as unprecedented.

Speaking at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, where some of the youths from the American universities came to train at the weekend, she revealed that success in SAT was one of the criteria used in fixing them in schools in the U.S., just as they were expected to be in the age bracket of between 14 and 17.

Atanda-Uchidiuno disclosed that the boys, who are currently on an awareness campaign, would go to universities in Abuja, Enugu, FUTA and Unilag to interact and play matches, adding that every year, between 10 and 12 coaches from different states in America were brought to Nigeria to collaborate with Nigerian coaches on the project.

This, she said, would give the boys the chance to impress the coaches and get the opportunity to join big clubs like Chelsea and Man United, among others. One of the beneficiaries, Adebare Oyeniyi, 20, from Osun State, who did his secondary education in Nigeria at International Sports Academy, Wasimi and is now in Skidmore College, New York, studying Business Administration and Economics, said the programme has moved him closer to his dream.



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