Talent discovery is a crucial element in University sport as the baton of participation is passed from generation to generation. This was what Udo Edidiong Okon, Director of Sport, Student Union Government, University of Portharcourt had in mind when he organized the Uniport Challenge & Relays.
The UNIPORT Challenge & Relays kicked off on the 16th of June, 2021 at the University of Port Harcourt Stadium. The event was graced by the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Steve Okodudu who was represented by the Director, Sports Institute, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ken Anugweje. The event had a total number of 137 students who registered and 70 out of 137 got accredited for the tournament.
While the male participants took part in Octathalon events – 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, long jump, shot put, discus & javelin, the female participants took part in heptathlon events – 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, long jump, discus & shotput.
The UNIPORT Challenge and Relays was organized primarily to discover potential athletes for the school team in athletics. “We discovered two raw talents, Edidiong said, one of them ran 52 seconds in 400 meters with his barefoot and the other ran 11 seconds in the 100-meter event, also with barefoot. Running at that time as a beginner shows that they have huge potential and they have been invited to join the school team. The first 8 participants get automatic qualification to join the school team but only the first five gets prizes”
Only the first 8 participants in each event get a point with the person in 1st position gaining 8points and the least point being 1.
At the end of the event, the points are summed up to determine the winner, the participants with the highest points win the events. Onyah Favour was the winner of the female category after accumulating 52 points across seven events, while Idorenyin Effiong won the male category after accumulating 48 points across eight events.
The inducted athletes will go through a series of training as new members of the school’s athletics team and hopefully, they go beyond raw talents to superstars proving their mettle on the track.