Being the address by the principal at the 2nd Interhouse Sports Competition on 23rd February, 2008
It gives me great joy as I stand before you this morning, to welcome you all to the second Annual Inter-House Sports Fiesta of Ritman College.
Sports, we all know, has come to be valued not just for its entertainment and improvement of physical well-being, but also for the exposure it gives and the enormous wealth it brings. Think of Jessey Owens, the greatest Olympian by the standard of The Guinness Book of Records. He would have lived and died a 'nigger' but for his sprinting feat in the 1920s and 30s. What about the Great Pele, Mohammed Ali, Hogan Bassey, Power Mike, Christian Chukwu and Emmanuel Okala of the 'old school days'? or Ben Johnson, Haile Gabro Sellasie, Chioma Ajunwa, Stephen Keshi, Dan Amokachi, Taribo West, J. J. Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Hakeem Olajuwong, Agbani Darego and Samuel Okon Peters of the 'new school type'? These men and women have won golden laurels for their countries and attracted fame and renown to themselves.
Sports unite, more than anything else . Consider what it feels like when a soccer team from a war-torn country wins a trophy. Nigerians will never forget our Olympic soccer victory way back in 1996 and its euphoric effect on the whole nation. Is it the gloom we collectively feel when our sports ambassadors fail us as they did some time ago in Ghana? The place of sports in the live of humans cannot be overemphasized.
Sports have been given emphasis as one of the three domains recognized by the educational enterprise (cognitive, affective and psycho-motor). The highest function of education is 'to bring about an integrated individual who is capable of dealing with life as a whole'. (Krishnamurti: 1978). This rhymes with the goal of education, which is the development of excellent individuals who are able to master their culture and environment.
It is the Ritman standard that emphasis be given towards meeting the demands of the three above-mentioned domains. We are keen on building up our students' intellect. But since that is not enough, we are concerned about the character formation. When it comes to development of physical aptitudes, we work as a team to bring out the best talents in our students. In summary, ours is an environment, which is conducive for teaching and learning.
Just as all play and no work would make students lazy, all work and no play would make them dull. That's why we have filed out this year, again in pursuit of sporting excellence. It is therefore our fervent hope that this edition will be an improvement on the last one, even as we hope to make it an annual event.
As we gather today for this sports festival, we call on the participating houses, schools, officials, judges and all concerned to approach the game with the spirit of sportsmanship. We are here to show-case talents and skills. We are here for sports, not for war. Let us realize that if one house wins, the glory goes back to the College of which the loosing house is also a part. At any rate, if the winners are magnanimous in victory and the losers are gallant in defeat, if the officials and judges carry on their roles without fear or favour, then the aim of this wholesome exercise would have been achieved.
May the Omnipotent God be a pillar of cloud for us today and grant us a hitch free competition.
On behalf of the Chairman, Board of Governors, Proprietress, PTA, Staff and Students, I welcome all of you to Ritman College. Have a great day and God bless you all.