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Abebe Gets Accolade For Supporting Cricketers

Published by Guardian on Sun, 25 Dec 2011

NIGERIA would be a major force to reckon with in the international sporting arena if more individuals and corporate organisations can commit their resources to the development of sports and athletes in the country, a Justice of the Supreme Court, Bode Rhodes-Vivour has said.Vivour stated this on Friday at a reunion ceremony organised by a non-governmental organisation, the AAA Foundation, for cricket players under its students' scholarship scheme.Justice Vivour described Chairman of the AAA Foundation, Dr. John Abebe, as a philanthropist, whose love for cricket and education had spurred him to invest in activities that bring joy to the less privileged.'I have been part of this foundation since inception; in fact I am a board member of the foundation. I have watched how cricket players, who are willing to learn, benefitted from Abebe's large hearts.'And I think all the beneficiaries will make meaningful use of this rare opportunity, because this country is very big and millions of people wish they are beneficiaries.'This no doubt is a clarion call on other Nigerians and the big companies to emulate what Abebe is doing because such a thing can transform this country into a renowned sporting country,' said Vivour.Not less than 13 male and female cricket players, who were beneficiaries of the AAA Foundation scholarship scheme, graduated from various institutions of higher learning across Nigeria.One of the recipients, Austin Areghan, who studied Accounting at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), described the gesture as immeasurable.'The foundation has really done much in terms of empowering youths,' said Areghan. 'Apart from the education we get, which is the basis for this scholarship, it has also given us international exposure, in the sense that we've gone on a tour to the United Arab Emirates under AAA Foundation sponsorship.'It has been wonderful in the sense that there are some things that I didn't imagine I could get quickly in the spate of a few years, like the international exposure, but the foundation made it possible.'Another recipient, Ruth Ayannaike, who is an undergraduate of the Lagos State Polytechnic, said: 'I just want to say a good thing God is doing through the AAA Chairman in the person of Dr. John Abebe, because he is really helping me in my academics. I don't know if 'thank you' is enough for him.'Formerly, I found it difficult to study because I asked myself, what am I studying for' When it's time for examinations they won't let me do the exams because of my inability to pay the school fees. But when I enrolled for the AAA Foundation scholarship, right now I'm one of the best students in my department.'Dr. Abebe, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Cricket Association (NCA), said the AAA Foundation was established six years ago for the main purpose of providing further education for male and female cricketers, who have been able to gain admission into institutions of higher learning.'The game of cricket is for gentlemen and ladies and I felt that the best thing one could do is to assist these young ones and also make sure that they have a good meal ticket for life,' said Abebe, a 2006 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
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