Monday, 24 December 2012

Mark D Ball – 2012 Edition live in Otukpo Benue State

Originally called Save the Game Project, about four years ago it was rebranded to Mark D Ball!  Mark D Ball is a basketball tournament that occurs annually during the Christmas period, in the heart of Idoma land. Every year, Benue State hosts a plethora of stars and dignitaries to an exciting sports and social gathering.  This sports tournament is however, no ordinary tournament, as its main function is to use sports as a means of youth empowerment and community building.

From Save the Game Project to Mark D Ball
About four years ago, the Senate President David Mark, threw his weight behind this competition and made it a prominent feature on the social calendar for both Benue State and Nigeria at large.  The idea of this initiative is the Senate President’s commitment of getting the youths off the street through something they can easily relate to – sports.  During the tournament, participants are challenged to meet people and network therefore making efforts for the country to unite under one bond; there is a three part “code of living” that participants are encouraged to live by while participating in the tournament.  As individuals, as team members, and as members of society – the basic theme that runs through the code is: to try and develop ones skills to the best of their ability, and also to be aware that as a team player, you must consider your fellow team members and put the team’s personal goals ahead of yours.  One must also be aware that participating in the tournament means you must be ready to impact your community positively.

Mark D Ball 5 – 2012 Edition
According to Comrade James Oche, the Senior Legislative Aide to Senate President David Mark,  Mark D Ball 2012 basketball tournament is to keep youths off the streets.
The tournament, according to him, is an annual event with the Season 5 coming up from Dec. 26 to 31 in Otukpo.
Oche said the primary aim of the tournament was to bring basketball of international standard to the grassroot and to teach children the game for early build-up of their career.
He said the competition, which was initiated by Hon. Igoche Mark, would be powered by the senate president to help young people to become better citizens using the basketball medium.
He said that Nigeria could revive its image by encouraging the development of sports at the grassroots with the youth being the target.
Oche said more than 250 children within the ages of eight to sixteen years would be trained and that those selected after the training would be given scholarships to go to school and also build up their career in sports.
"The idea is we intend to train more than 250 students in the basketball academy and those that excel would be given scholarship; the theme here is catch them young while we teach them how to develop their skills.
"We also encourage them to go to school; to use sports as a past time; the idea is we believe that if you train up a child early enough in his skill, he will grow up to become the Tiger Woods of tomorrow and today's celebrated sportsmen."
This year’s edition comes with a twist.  Mark D Ball team will go up against a celebrity team of basket-ball  players, in a friendly game at the opening ceremony of the tournament.
Calling the youth!
You don’t have to be a great basketball player to appreciate what this initiative sets out to achieve, you just have to believe in the future of a united Nigeria to want to be a part of this movement.  The youth are the future of tomorrow, and so Mark D Ball is an important platform for empowering youth, giving the right credentials to forge through and make a difference in your community.  Mark D Ball is committed to giving out cash prizes to winners, as well as scholarships and networking opportunities. The idea is to transfer the skills and ideology of participating in a team sport into the real world, where the youth can actively be a part of changing their environment positively.  The team at Mark D Ball call all youth to support the cause by simply spreading the word and raising awareness of this initiative!

Mark D Ball

26th to 31st December, 2012
At Otukpo Club 45, Otukpo, Benue State
Artists: Tuface, Sound Sultan, Ikechukwu, Vector, and more
Supported by: The Senate President David Mark, I.G Mark, Ada Mark Foundation for Girls, Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour, VerMark Gas, AGIP, Elito, Reynolds Construction Company,  El Toro Sportswear, M&M Kids, Iyaache Communications, Thomas Media Inc., RedBox Inc.

For more information please call 08055865545,07068777722
follow us on twitter at Markdball2012

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