By Bridget Ikyado
Aliade (Benue) – All Catholic Secondary Schools Games started on Monday at Mount St. Michaels Secondary School, Aliade with a football match between the host school and St John Bosco Secondary School.
Declaring the competition open, the Catholic Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, Most Rev. Dr Wilfred Anagbe, thanked the host school for its commitment toward sports development in the Diocese and Benue in general.
Represented by the Director of the Catholic Education Services, Rev. Fr. Godwin Udaa, Anagbe encouraged the participating schools to be law abiding and imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship.
The bishop warned that any school that showed any level of indiscipline would be suspended from the tournament indefinitely.
“We are here to pray, play and make peace; be of good conduct,’’ he advised.
Anagbe called for tolerance among competitors and asked them to enjoy themselves.
The Chairman Local Organising Committee, Rev. Fr. Marcellinus Oparaji, applauded the Principal of the host school, Rev Terungwa Tor for providing the sports facilities for the Games.
“Prior to the tournament, a team of Sports Inspectors came to the school to inspect the facilities available.
“They were satisfied with the number of quality facilities they found in the school,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 24 schools and over 5,000 participants are at the tournament.
The four-day event has football, handball, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, badminton and athletics to be competed in.
In the opening football match, the hosts Mt St. Michael’s defeated St. John Bosco Secondary School 1-0.
The lone goal was scored in the 50th minute by Wanga Andrew, an SS3 student.
The school boys played tirelessly with the defeated team leaving the pitch happy they exhibited their skills.
Jen Samuel, the Director of Sports, Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, commended the teams and urged them to keep up their good work.
He said that there were no losers as what both schools displayed in the field was worth recommending them for inter-state and other national catholic sports fiestas.
Earlier, during the march past by the schools, Mt St Micheal’s Secondary School won a gold medal, Sacred Heart Secondary School, Udei, followed with a silver and Mt La Salle College, Naka, took the bronze.