After two days of intensive training and evaluation, five girls were selected for soccer scholarships in the USA under Mercy Akide-Udoh’s Play2Learn initiative.
The five young girls will be joined by two other girls, Katherine Kenneth and Edore Egbude, who were both spotted at the Airtel Rising Stars National Finals in Lagos.
Nineteen year old Rita Orjiako, 17 year-old Ogundeko Deborah Oluwatosin, 17 year-old Asunmonu Ajoke, 19 year-old Kehinde Busari and 22 year-old Uzor Tochi Success all excelled during the two-day trials.”These girls showed not only great talent but also a passion for the game, and some of the stories they told of their background broke my heart,” said the former Super Falcons striker.
“These are the kind of girls we are looking for. Those who do not come from rich backgrounds, but who have talent to play football, and the right secondary school results to take them to college so they can help their families in the future.”
According to Akide-Udoh, preparations to get the the girls out will start immediately, beginning with having them registered for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exams.
“The real work starts here,” said Akide-Udoh. “This is where we need sponsorship to get these girls off to the schools, and we hope we can get that support.
“We are grateful to the Commissioner for Sports in Lagos State, and the Lagos State Football Association chairman for their support so far.”
“I still feel like I am dreaming,” said Rita Orjiako, one of the successful girls. “This is a great opportunity for me and I will do my best to make Mercy proud.”
Play2Learn is a program that seeks to identify, train and recommend talented girls between the ages of 16 and 22 for soccer scholarships to colleges in the United States.