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Kano students battle for honors at SWIPHA Rugby Championship



More than 800 Kano students took part in a rugby tournament organized by Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited, owners of the SWIPHA brand.

Organized in partnership with a non-governmental organization, Reaching Everyone with Accessible Community Healthcare (REACH) and other partners, the competition, according to organizers, featured 30 boys’ and 11 girls’ teams from high schools across the state.

Speaking about the initiative, Swiss Pharma Nigeria Limited Managing Director Frederic Lieutaud said the firm decided to sponsor the event because it believes in sports as an important vehicle for social development, healthy lifestyle and talent identification.

“As a pharmaceutical company, which prides itself on the well-being of people, especially young people, we have taken it upon ourselves to support the initiative to keep young people fit and healthy, as well as use the competition to identify new talent.

“This will encourage them to adopt and participate in one sporting activity or another.

As you know, regular exercise keeps the mind healthy and we believe it is important to instill this idea in our children at an early age,” Lieutaud said.

Also speaking about the tournament, Director of Operations, EHA Clinics and REACH Program, Paul Hogan, said the event, which began in Kano nine years ago, is focused on school-age children ages 12-14.

He exposes them to sports activities and sports education to help them develop a healthy lifestyle.

“We started the tournament many years ago, but we stopped it three years ago due to COVID-19 and now this is the first tournament after the pandemic.

It’s just for the kids to have fun and educate themselves in the sport,” Hogan said.

Also speaking at the event, the Kano State Commissioner of Education, who was represented by the Ministry’s School Sports Directorate Deputy Director, Kabir Shehu, applauded the role of the organizers in promoting sport in Nigeria.

He noted that the Kano state government is doing everything possible to ensure that sports activities in public and private schools are routine in the state.

“As far as our schools are concerned, we don’t do activities like rugby very often.

But with this development, we are committing to setting up facilities to maintain it each trimester where all schools will have the opportunity to participate.

There is no doubt that this type of activity will develop the sport in the state, especially among the next generations, ”he said.

In her words, the REACH Program Manager, Dr. Maryam Bashir Dantata, added that the goal of the sports initiative is to also recruit 1,200 students who will become great beneficiaries of the basic and necessary health services provided by the business.

Dantata identified the health care services needed to benefit from health education, genotyping and counselling, malaria screening, vision screening, diabetes, ulcer and other health issues.

At the end of the Rugby Championship, Barewa College, Aminu Kano Commercial College and Government Senior Secondary School, Goron Dutse emerged winners of the different categories of the rugby tournament.

While Barewa College and Aminu Kano Commercial College won the senior and junior categories respectively for boys, Government Secondary School, Goron, Dutse, won the senior and junior categories for girls.