The Amoawi Methodist Basic School, from Offinso in the Ashanti Region has emerged ultimate winners of the 2019 Nestlé Milo Under 13 Champions League, which was organized across the country.
The team managed to beat St. Peters International School, from Ahafo Region, in a fiercely contested final which ended by 3 goals to 2 in favor of Amoawi Methgodist Basic School, at the Paa Joe Park on KNUST campus, Kumasi.
This is the first time a team from Ashanti Region has topped the competition since it began some years ago.
For emerging winners, the Amoawi was awarded a GHS20,000 cash prize, a trophy and some takeaways while Samuel Obeng, one the school’s players, was also named as the ‘Best Player’ of the tournament.
For his shot stopping prowess, Abu Bempah, the goalkeeper of Amoawi Methodist Basic School, was also recognized as the ‘Best Goal Keeper’ of the tournament.
The second and third place schools, St. Peters International and Bodaa Presbyterian Primary teams took away GHS12,000 and GHS7,000 respectively, as well as other gifts from sponsors.
The star player for Akweiman M/A Basic School team, from the Greater Accra, Edward Ameka, with a record of nine goals took home the ‘Goal King Award’ while Talent Bridge Academy won the ‘Fair Play Award.’
The Director of Physical Education Unit and National Sports Coordinator, of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Emmanuel Dormenya, said the platform to collaborate with Nestlé Ghana Limited is commendable considering the talents they have unearthed across the country.
He was hopeful that talents who are identified through the tournament would grow to contribute to the development of football in the country.
Through the tournament, he said values taught in classrooms are practicalised. This, he noted, helps the children to grow up not to become just professionals in football but responsible professionals and citizens of the state.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Nestlé Ghana Limited, Osman Camara, said among the key objective behind the tournament is to towards helping the education of children while showing that “with a good education and good basics” one can build a good future.
Among other things, he said, the competition helps children to understand the need to be hardworking, building resilience and meeting certain key obligations if one wants to progress in life.
He cited one of the key ambassadors of the Nestlé Milo tournament who is the former captain of the Black Stars, Stephen Appiah as a good example of someone with these attributes. He urged the children to emulate his example.
Former Black Stars striker, Augustine Arhinful, said the effort of the sponsor of the tournament, Nestlé Ghana Limited, is to unearth talent and that there was the need to support them to achieve the set objectives.
He said it was high time football authorities collaborated with Nestlé in order to ensure that the talents discovered through the tournament are camped and groomed right from the young age.
He explained that the FA could make use of the edifice at Prampram sponsored by the FIFA Goal Project for this purpose of developing talents for the national soccer teams.
“The foundation of the Black Stars are these ones, so, I believe we have to really take keen interest in bringing them up,” he stated.
A representative of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the final competition, Nana Kweku Amankwah Sarkodie II, who is the Sewuahene, commended what Nestlé Ghana is doing to unearth talents.
He said if replicated by other companies, it could help develop football in the country and export some of the talents abroad.
In all, there were 16 participating schools in the competition.
Some of the experts brought to support the tournament also included the Technical Director of the Ghana Football Association, Coach Oti Akenteng, Augustine Arhinful and Assistant coach of the female U17 team, coach Baba Huhu Mallam.
Amoawi Methodist Basic School team in a group picture with officials of the competition
Edward Ameka receiving his Goa King Award