Feet ‘n’ Tricks International Limited, organizers of the just-concluded Nigeria National Freestyle Championship, in conjunction with its major sponsor, GAC Motors, Federal Inland Revenue Services and VFD Group, has fulfilled its pledge as a brand new saloon car was handed to the 1st Prize Winner in the male category of the competition, McCarthy Obanor
The saloon car, travel ticket and other prizes won during the very successful competition held last weekend at the Ikeja City Mall in Lagos State, were handed over to winners at an impressive ceremony held at the GAC Motor Office in Victoria Island Lagos and witnessed by other major sponsors of the event.
The winners apart from Obanor, who will represent Nigeria at the World Super Ball Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, includes Mayowa Bababunmi, a medical doctor, who placed second, winning N750,000.
Others are 2nd runner up, Austine Abariode, who went home with N500,000, and 3rd runner up, Ifeanyi Nwabeke, who received N250,000 for his freestyle football skills.
In the female category, Rasheedat Ajibade, the captain of Nigeria’s Under 17 Women National Team, clinched the title, winning the sum of N1 million.
Ajibade, a professional footballer, defeated Chidinma Okeke, her teammate in the national team, in the final.
Okeke collected N750,000 for her second place effort.
Nduibisi Esther and Unamba Augustina were 2nd and 3rd place winners, receiving N500,000 and N250,000 respectively.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of Feet ‘n’ Tricks Limited, Valentine Ozigbo, appreciated the sponsors – GAC Motors, FIRS, Five Star Music, VFD Group, Wakanow, Wine and Things, Scavi & Ray, Pinnacle Communications and media groups including Hip TV, Cool FM Group, DBN and Channels – for their support.
Ozigbo noted that the organisers would not have achieved this much in its first year without the belief the sponsors had in his company.
“It is going to be bigger and better next year, we are going to be working with all that were part of this year’s and we promise a bigger and better tournament next year,” he said.
The Chairwoman of Choice International and representative of GAC Motors in Africa, Chief Diana Chan, said GAC Motors collaborated with Feet ‘n’ Tricks to give better future and sustainable leaving to talented young men and women in Nigeria.
While promising the commitment of her company to future editions of the competition, Chan said: “Our mission in Nigeria is to offer the next credible alternatives to users of vehicles in Nigeria through our sincere commitment to offering high quality products and services to our customers, and in doing this to support the creative arts and sports and talented young Nigerians in order to bring out the best in them.”
Alhaji Kunle Oseni, the National Coordinator for Tax Enlightenment, FIRS, representing the Chairman of the agency, Babatunde Fowler, said: “FIRS is identifying with Feet ‘n’ Tricks as part of our corporate social responsibility given the very positive impacts professionalizing freestyle football would have for our young ones on the street, and then to enlighten our people more on tax matters.”
Speaking on behalf of the winners, Obanor, who will be sponsored to the world championship, thanked the organisers for giving freestyle footballers hope of bright future by committing huge resources to organising the competition despite the economic situations in the country. He promised to make Nigeria proud by winning the global event.
He said: “For once , Free n Tricks have helped me in convincing my mother that there is future in freestyle football. Courtesy of the organisers with the support of the sponsors, I am not only a owner of a brand new car, a million naira, but most importantly, I will carrying my country’s flag in an international competition, what I have long for in my seven years of freestyling.”
All eyes were on Mayowa Bababunmi, a medical doctor, who placed second.
Asked how he developed his talents despite his tight medical profession practice, he said Freestyle has become a passion and relaxation tool for him.
“With my involvement, I believe I have encouraged other professionals to live their passion,” Mayowa said.