- Millions of Naira as cash prizes were won at the para soccer championship put together by Super Falcons star Asisat Oshoala and ACTDF president Engineer Noah Dallaji
- Several brand new wheelchairs were also donated by Dallaji to teary-eyed para-athletes, out of competition in years
- In attendance at the event include former Lagos First Lady Mrs. Ambode, ex-Super Eagles and Nollywood superstars
An exciting day it turned out as the grand finale of the three-day maiden Dallaji /Oshoala girls and para-soccer championship held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
Amid pomp and pageantry, a large turn out of screaming students, sports fans among others, watched as the unannounced Mr. P of PSquare fame gave a rare superlative performance.
He bared his bulky physique performing without a shirt out of excitement as he thrilled the audience with hit after hit of the songs that made him and his twin worldwide superstars.
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It was one of the exciting side attractions of the finals which saw the winners smiling home with huge cash prizes and donations of brand new wheelchairs to the participating para-athletes.
The Para-soccer championship – a three-day event – saw four teams compete for laurels, while the girls’ tourney featured eight teams vying for honours.
Winners of both competitions received cash prizes of one million naira each and medals from the ACTDF president Engineer Noah Dallaji.
Tens of brand new wheelchairs were also donated by Engr. Dallaji to the overjoyed para-athletes who’ve been out of active sports for many years, until Dallaji offered them the opportunity.
Reigning African Women’s Footballer of The Year and Barcelona Femeni star Oshoala partnered with Dallaji, founder of African Children Talent Discovery Foundation ACTDF, to help the less-privileged through education and sports.
The twin events are the initiative of the African Children Talents Discovery Foundation in collaboration with the Asisat Oshoala Foundation.
Asisat Oshoala said the girls’ soccer tourney became necessary after her foundation realized that women footballers were denied of football competition.
“In line with the vision of our foundation which is focused on the girl child, we decided to float the girls’ soccer tourney,” she said.
Oshoala disclosed that her meeting with the Chairman of the African Children Talents Discovery Foundation, Engineer Noah Dallaji, made her realize that charity work should not be gender-based, hence the inclusion of the para-soccer championship.
An excited Asisat Oshoala noted that she was inspired to partner with Dallaji because of his passion to help the needy.
The Oshoala Foundation encourages girls to go ahead with their dream of turning professionals. The foundation has helped about 5,000 girls. “It’s my little bit to help girls in Lagos but after my meeting with Dallaji, he has raised the bar higher by including para-athletes, which has improved the quality of the soccer tournaments.”
For Engr Dallaji it was a continuation of a lifelong passion for charitable causes.
Engineer Dallaji said his foundation had been in existence for a long time and it had been preoccupied with how to improve the wellbeing of a lot of the teeming youth in the country.
“No nation can exist without the youth,” he stated, adding, “every individual has something in him to be discovered, to be honed and nurtured to stardom.”
It may interest you to know that the Noah Dallaji Legacy Project alongside the Africa Children Talent Discovery Foundation recently discovered 37 soccer talents that would soon be sent to both local and international soccer academies.
Dallaji is also lending his weight to many other ongoing and future local and international sporting events.
He said: “Ours is to provide the platform for them to take advantage of. We are all born in different ways for different purposes.”
Plans are already underway to make next years tournament bigger and better.
He, therefore, called on well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to lend their support to the Dallaji/Oshoala tournament for the less privileged in the society.
Led by Austin Jay Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu, the Nigerian football legends took part in a football exhibition at the 2nd edition of the ACTDF, an initiative of the Noah Dallaji Legacy Project.
The event which lived up to its billings also witnessed some ex-African football superstars and top Nigerian celebrities.
Aside from Okocha and Kanu, in attendance were the likes of Lua Lua, Fadiga, Appiah, Diouf, Amokachi, Babayaro, Eguavoen, Babangida, and more.