Nestlé MILO Basketball Championship 2023: Bayelsa Continues Dominance

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Nestlé MILO Basketball Championship 2023: Bayelsa Continues Dominance
Nestlé MILO Basketball Championship 2023: Bayelsa Continues Dominance

For the 10th time in the last 10 editions, St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State has qualified for the finals of the MILO Secondary Schools Basketball Championship now in its 23rd edition.

The school has dominated the Championship since 2010, emerging as winners seven times in the last eight years.

At the Atlantic Conference in Asaba recently, where St. Jude’s Girls defeated Dom-Domingos College Warri, Delta State by 14 points to 12 points to secure their place in the finals, Coach Tony Nelson let us into the secret of his school’s success!

According to Coach Nelson, the secret is continuous improvement.

“We have been working so hard back in Bayelsa to build this team for the last two years. Although we won the conference, we believe there are a lot of things we need to put together to get to the national standard. That is what we will do when we go back home”, he said.

The Bayelsa-born coach said further, “We are defending champions, and most of these players are just coming up, so we really thank God that we could get to this level. We are going to Lagos, a place we always go to every year, where we have been named champions seven times. The team will go back home to Bayelsa to correct our mistakes during the Atlantic Conference to enable us triumph again at the national finals in Lagos.”

Coach Nelson has worked with three different teams over the last thirteen years. They are, St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Belary Schools and Bishop Dimieari Grammar School all in Bayelsa State. During this time, he also trained over 100,000 basketballers for competitions and camps, working for the Bayelsa State Sports

Council. He believes that praying to God and hard work are the two most important factors to success.

The young, vibrant and energetic coach says “What really drives me to do what I do is that I enjoy working with children and teaching. I enjoy making impact on young people. I like seeing young people become something. I go to schools to get these children, bring them to the sports complex and begin to teach them. The drive in it is to see them succeed, to see them become champions and to see them become leaders.”

In the boys’ category of the Atlantic Conference, Urhobo Model College, Effurun, Delta State triumphed over the boys from Bishop Dimieari Grammar School, Ovom, Bayelsa State by 28 points to 24 points.

Both St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and Urhobo Model College, Effurun, Delta State will represent the Atlantic Conference at the national finals of the 23rd MILO Basketball Championship in Lagos in July.

Other teams who will be in Lagos for the national finals are winners from the Savannah Conference which held in Kano from the 3rd to the 10th of May and the Central Conference held at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja from the 12th to 19th of May and Western Conference in Ibadan from May 30th to June 6th, 2023.

Category Manager for Beverages, Nestlé Nigeria, Mr. Olutayo Olatunji, reiterated Nestle’s commitment to developing talents, promoting healthier lifestyles, and instilling values for success in life through sports. “MILO, firmly believes that through participation in sports, children learn enduring values to help them achieve success in life,” he said.