By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
The academic atmosphere of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife was ignited over the weekend during the final and closing ceremony of the 35 years old soccer competition instituted by a medical doctor and a novelist, Dr Wale Okediran, held at the sport’s center of the campus.
The 2021 edition of the soccer event specially designed for only medical students tagged: Wale Okediran Football Competition was won by Part four Medical Students after one week tussle among the medical undergraduates.
Dr Okediran in his address during the trophy presentation explained the rationale behind the uncanny sporting event for the ever-busy medical undergraduates, saying his sporting accomplishments as a Medical Student between 1973 and 1980 at the then University of Ife made him realize that there could be many medical students who could also excel in Sports if given the right incentive.
“In 1977, just three years to the end of my medical training, I was among the six University Sportsmen who were awarded the first ever University scholarship for Sports.
This spectacular development made me realize that there could be many medical students who could also excel in Sports if given the right incentive”.
“That was the major reason for my decision in 1980 which was my final year in the medical school to institute the Wale Okediran Annual Football Club Competition for medical students of the University. In the 41 years of its existence the competition has been held 35 times because of occasional closures of the University”, said Dr Okediran.
Among dignitaries that witnessed the event was the Vice Chancellor, Prof Tope Ogunbodede who was the Guest of Honor. He came with his two Deputy VCs: Prof Simeon Banire (Academics) and Prof Chris Ajila (Administration). Friends and classmates of the cup donor Prof Femi Makinde, Prof Augustine Agbakwuru and Prof Chima Anyadike are also in attendance.
To further highlight the National unifying effect of the Competition, the current National President of the Nigerian Medical Students Association, Mr. Danbuba Umar Muhammod who is a Medical Student from the University of Maiduguri, Borno state was also in attendance.