In case we had forgotten what giving back to the community looks like, the last two days at the St Anthony`s Secondary School in Ilorin will serve as a reminder. After 22 years, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Webber Engineering Ltd, Opeyemi Babalola returned to his secondary school to fulfil his promise of building a multipurpose outdoor court.
`I have always wanted to go back to St Anthony to make an impact. There is an obvious decay in sports infrastructure in general, I saw it and wanted to do something about it. What better way to start than go back to my secondary school?`
The two-day launch of the basketball court also featured a basketball camp for over 200 boys and girls to teach them the fundamental of basketball and encourage them start at an early age. The camp featured top basketball coaches from across the country including Coach Peter Ahmedu. Basketball t-shirt and kits were also presented, along with equipment and balls which will be used for basketball, handball, volleyball and badminton.
Babalola studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ilorin, after which he studied Subsea Engineering at the University of Aberdeen. He has worked for multinational companies like General Electric and OneSubsea, and on multi-million dollar projects within and outside the country.
He believes that having the right sports infrastructure is key to the performance of athletes and he hopes this new court will help revolutionise sports in Nigeria. The total project cost is estimated to be above five million naira.