THE Vice Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt (Uniport), Professor Joseph Ajienka has announced work-study scholarships for the champions of the just-concluded West African University Games hosted by the University Ilorin.
In a reception held at the Senate Chambers of the institution in honour of the Uniport champions on Tuesday afternoon, a delighted Professor Ajienka said: “There is a difference between sports and physical education. The least that the country would do is to learn the secret of sports success in Uniport.
“We are going to give our athletes work-study scholarships to enable them earn something on a monthly basis for their sustenance. Their accommodation is already being taken care of. Its good to combine academics and sports, gone are the days of illiterate sportsmen”
The coaches of the Uniport athletes were not left out as they were promised employment at the sports institute, “as an encouragement – to make the university the centre of excellence in sports”, said the VC.
Prof Ajienka went further to note that a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) has also been reached with the Olympic Committee to make the institution the first Olympic University Centre in Nigeria.
The trophy was dedicated to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Governor Amaechi, Honourable Nyesom Wike and all other Alumni of the School.
The institution also won other awards in the events including the best behaved athletes, best team captain, Fidelis Awusa (awarded by University of Ilorin), the highest gold medalist, Ifiezibe Okoko Gagbe with nine gold meadls. She also won the best dancer amongst others.
This is the third consecutive time the institution is winning the WAUG games which hold once in four years since 2003.
Uniport topped the medals table with 48gold, 26silver and 19bronze. This is the first time in the history of WAUG where the winner has hauled over forty gold medals. The University of Benin came second with 9gold, 5silver, 9bronze while Benson Idahosa University came third with 8gold, 7silver and 4 bronze.
It is also noteworthy that Nigerian universities dominated the medals table with other universities in the sub-region winning medals in trickles, the closest being University De abome Calavi Cotono that came eight with 5gold, 3silver, 2bronze.