Cash prize of N200,000 is at stake for students of the famous St. Charles High School (formerly St. Charles Grammar School) and their college counterparts in Osogbo, Osun State, south-west Nigeria as the 2019 Diaspora Charleans Inter-high Schools Table Tennis Championships knocks off at the school premises from 4 – 5 December, 2019.
Sponsored by “Charleans in Diaspora,” a group of the school’s old students currently domiciled abroad especially in the USA, UK and Canada, the competition is designed to discover and encourage talented table tennis players in the state colleges and to discourage the students populace from drug abuse.
Alhaji Yemi Ghazali Ajijolaya, Chairman of GS Agriculture Limited is the current president of the Diaspora Charleans as they’re fondly called. He says: “According to statistics, about 66 percent of youths in rural and urban areas in Osun State are into drug or substance abuse. These are mostly in-school teenagers, not out-of-school children in the motor parks as wrongly assumed by many.
“We realize that one of the best ways to engage students productively is through sports. The table tennis championship is our own little way of contributing to that effort. That is why our theme for the competition is ‘Play Against Drug Abuse’.”
Formerly a boys only school, St. Charles is now a co-educational institution with equal opportunities for both sexes and this is reflected in the competition. “We have the same prize monies for boys and girls,” says Ajijolaya. “It’s N50,000 each for the champions, N30,000 each for first runner-up and N20,000 each for second runner-up.
“Beyond the cash prizes, however, we believe that the competition will create a healthy sporting rivalry among high schools in Osun State. It is also an avenue for the students to have fun and to keep them away from activities detrimental to their health and education.”
Previous contributions by Diaspora Charleans to their alma-mater include payment of WAEC and NECO final examination fees for underprivileged students and organizing inter-class quiz and debate competitions.
The table tennis competition will be held 10.00am to 5.00pm each day on 4 – 5 December, 2019 at the Adesina Hall of St. Charles High School.
The special guest is Hon. Yemi Lawal, Osun State commissioner for Youths, Sports and Special Needs, who will also be delivering a motivational speech on the theme of the competition.
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