Sixteen players have qualifed for grandfinale of the 2023 People United By Sports (PUBS) Ayo Olopon and Draught competition from eight centers within Akure metropolis.
Eight players had qualified from Ayo Olopon ,while another eight also joined in Draught making 16playersc that will compete in the grandfinale scheduled for Ondo State Sports complex, Akure.
The sixteen qualified players in both games had competed at different centers which includes; Stadium road, Crown hospital, Odopetu, Hospital road, Oke – Ijebu, new Stadium and Oba – Ile, all in Akure South and North.
The competition had lasted for eight days at the preliminary stage before the winners who emerged at the centers will compete for the overall winners in both Ayo Olopon and Draught games at the Stadium in a date to get announced by the organisers.
In a chat with newsmen, the president of PUBS, Seun Betiku disclosed that the competition was organised to promote local sports and also to discover talents that could represent the state at both national and international competitions.
He added that the PUBS only took it upon itself to contribute their quota to the development of sports in the state, saying government can’t do it alone.
He stressed that the group organised the competition to debrief some members of the public that thought PUBS is all about football, saying both Ayo Olopon and Draught are not played by dullard but for intelligent people.
He revealed that after the conclusion of the ongoing competition that the organisation will choose another sports and also put resources together and bring the interested players together to compete for honour.
According to him, “all the 16 centers winners in the two games will compete in the grandfinale at the state sports complex, Akure the state capital where the overall champions will emerge.”
“We are using sports to bring people together to display their talents, sports is not about football alone, we have more than 30 games in Ondo State so we will be picking them one after the other”, he said.
All the winners from the eight centers were presented with cash prizes and PUBS’ souvenirs .
The head coach of Ondo State Ayo Olopon and National coordinator of the game in the country, Mr Joshua Ogunbiyi commended the organisers for choosing to promote the traditional games .
Ogunbiyi said :” I appreciate all the brains behind this Noble program. I’m glad to inform you that Ayo olopon has gained international prominence and its headquarters is situated in London. As the Head coach of ondo state Ayo olopon and National coordinator of traditional sports federation of Nigeria,I assure you of my immense partnership and support to this group.”
Timothy Umeh and Lekan Fregene who spoke on behalf of the winners thanked the organizers for remembering to promote the games which did not gain the needed prominence in the state.