The Segun Odegbami International College and Sports Academy (SOCA) will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary.
Formerly known as The International Sports Academy (TIA), SOCA, a non-profit-organisation, is the brain-child of legendary Nigerian football and 1980 Africa Cup of Nations winner Chief Segun Odegbami.
At a media press briefing held at Moremi Meeting Room, Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, it was announced that the anniversary celebration comes up on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at Wasimi Orile in Ogun State where SOCA is located.
Amongst plans put in place as part of the 10th year anniversary is the unveiling of the architectural sketches for the structures that still need to be put in the next 10 years.
Present at the media briefing were Chief Odegbami, Atlanta 1996 Olympic women’s long jump gold medallist Chioma Ajunwa, gold medalist in men´s 4×400 metres relay Enefiok Udo-Obong and former D´Tigers captain and 2015 FIBA Afrobasket winner Olumide Oyedeji.
In his keynote address, Chief Odegbami said: “The public did not fully understand the philosophy of the academy and did not take advantage of the unique opportunities that SOCA offered which I intend to share with you again.
“Even as I speak here now most people that are still making enquiries about the school think it is another football academy like so many all over the country where boys train and play football with the objective of securing a professional contract abroad. SOCA is much more than that.
“It is to start with, a school of academic instruction and learning, a full-fletched, normal secondary school running the full Federal Ministry of Education curriculum of academic programs from JS1 to SS3, six years of education covering science, arts and commercial subjects, and leading to WASC and NECO national examinations.
“The school operates a department of vocational studies with a full photography course of study.
“Secondly, the school is a multi-sports academy. It offers its students the necessary training and facilities for development to hone their skills and ability in anyone of football, basketball, tennis and track athletics. So, there are four sports academies in the school.”
Chief Odegbami stated further: “The school has graduated seven sets of students that passed through the school and school passed through them. In 10 years of our exciting, difficult and challenging journey so far, we have enrolled boys and girls into the school as a result of their deep passion for sports, mostly football and usually their parents´ deep desire for a good education for them.
“Many of them made life difficult for their parents by insisting they wanted to play professional sports and were willing to even give up their education, which the parents know is key and foundation to a successful life, to achieve it.
“So when they eventually get around to understand the philosophy of the school, and visit to see what we do and what we have on ground, many of them eventually bring their children and have been mostly happy down the line that they did. They find out that the school offers some things that other school do not, and they themselves do not envisage before getting there.”