Travelling across Abuja, Lagos, Anambra, and Kano, you can clearly see that the Maltina School Games is not just a track and field school sports competition—it is an opportunity. It is a vital chance for young Nigerian students to find a hope for the future through sports, thanks to a brand that chose to believe in the Nigerian youth.
With hundreds of students across the country competing across several sports, from 100m sprints, 800m, 4x100m relay, long jump, high jump, javelin to shot put, the Maltina School Games is set to impact over 200million schoolchildren across Nigeria.
While watching the students compete in the Games, you cannot miss the determination in their eyes.
Umar Kabir Jibrin from SBS Dawakini Kudu fell while running his heat but that wasn’t enough to stop him — he picked himself up, kept running, and won his 100meters sprint.
When Zulaihat Muhammad Lawan from KGGC Minzibir’s form was off in her first long jump. The game master came to her aid and she ended up jumping further in subsequent attempts.
Maryam Idris Sani, a Health Education student at the Bayero University where the Kano State Finals was held, commented on how happy she was that the school sports competition allowed both boys and young girls compete.
It is awe-inspiring to see youth development happen right before your eyes — so fast that you cannot afford to blink so as not to miss it.
Then there are the naturals, those with nature given talent to excel at sports. Which is exactly what they do, competing in three different sports or more, pushing themselves to do better at every competition. Some end up first place with a shy smile and a drink of a chilled Maltina amidst the cheers of their fellow school mates and even other competitors from other schools.
That’s what sets the Maltina School games apart, every student is celebrated in competition, from the 1st placed to the 7th placed — they’re just happy to be there. You see their friendship blossom amidst competition, and you can’t help but feel a hope bubble up— a chance for the future of Nigeria.
A dream of seeing Nigerian students from all across the country come together sharing happiness in national unity through sports. With the school sports competition, Nigerian students finally have an opportunity to excel in track and field, and proudly represent Nigeria on international stages in the future.
The Maltina School Games is set to heavily impact Nigerian school students across the country, especially in the North, with vital international platforms like the BBC covering the State Finals in Abuja. You can read the story here.
For more information on the Maltina School Games, follow @Maltina on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and visit the website, www.maltina-nigeria.com for updates.