As activities marking the 7th year of the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration enter it’s day two with the final of the Calisthenics Competition held among Secondary schools in Osun, the governor has stated that his government has been vindicated that Calisthenics is a unique sport that benefits school pupils.
The Governor noted that contrary to insinuations by the opposition party when calisthenics was introduced by his administration in 2012 that it be scrapped because it is giving military training to youths, the sport has now become one that is been supported by all and sundry in the state for youth development.
Aregbesola at a colourful ceremony at the Osogbo Township stadium held that Callisthenics is a unique sport that benefits participating pupils, which importance cannot be overemphasized, said Calisthenics is beyond and better than many other sports engagement.
The final of competition was held between the winners in each of the three senatorial districts in the state.
These are the Ilobu team in the Central, Ede Team in the West and Ilesa Team in the East.
The winner of the Display, Osun Central senatorial team took home a cash prize of N2 million and a trophy, the first runners up, Osun West collected N1 million, while the second runners up, Osun East received cash prize of N750,000.
These prizes are for the improvement of sporting facilities of their schools.
According to Governor Aregbesola, “Since the introduction of this programme five years ago, 28,000 athletes have been trained in callisthenics. When we introduced Callisthenics into Osun, the opposition, for the strangest and most ridiculous reason, raised an alarm, nudged the security agencies and asked that it be scrapped.
“They wrongly accused us of using callisthenics as a cover for giving military training to the youth as a prelude to seceding from Nigeria.
“How could any sane person allege that teaching children to hold flags and bend their bodies amount to military training? At any rate, the training was done in the open, in the presence of parents, teachers, other children and interested members of the public”.
Aregbesola also added that his administration through Calisthenics has been able to inculcate the values of unity, harmony, discipline, teamwork, hard work and creativity into school children.
He said, “It can be seen from callisthenics for instance that the whole is the sum of the parts. You must do well your part for the team to succeed and your own success is only meaningful in light of the success of others. If one athlete should be out of sync with the team, the formation fails altogether.
“This is in addition to its healthful benefits for the body such as flexibility, physical strength, agility and the capacity for endurance.
“An added advantage of this programme, especially in our own peculiar situation, is that, by providing a platform for fraternisation and positive integration and engagement in a worthwhile endeavour, it makes the students unavailable for potentially destructive out-of-school activities, such as cultism, gangsterism, political brigandage and other criminal activities.
“The education we are providing, of which sports are included, is for the development of the total person. We are developing a man for society, who sees himself as existing for the benefit of the society, beyond self; who views all his possessions in light of the benefit of all, who is willing to stand for all and ready to be part of all to stand for one”. The Governor emphasised.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Education, Mr Wasiu Kolawole Omotunde-Young, commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for voting larger resources of the state to the education sector.
He described the impressive performances of pupils and students of the state in the last seven years of Aregbesola’s administration as testimony to the fruits of quality and functional education promised and delivered by the present government in the state.
Omotunde-Young said the present administration had in the last seven years received commendations for its efforts at making education the bedrock for all-round development.
Shedding lights on the significance of the occasion, Young held that the event was organised to build a complete man in character and excellence through the provision of quality and functional education.