In an exciting culmination of several weeks of intense competition, Hon. Mark Adebayo emerged as the winner of the Ayo Olopon game, a cultural event initiated by Prince Michael Oluwadare (PMO), the chairman of Ajoni Local Council Development Area of Ekiti State.
The Ayo Olopon game competition was aimed to promote ancient traditional games at the grassroots level.
The event aligns with the six-point agenda of Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s administration in Ekiti State, as well as the Ajoni roadmap, which is the agenda of the Executive Chairman of Ajoni LCDA, Hon. Prince Ogungbemi. He took the initiative to sponsor the Ayo Olopon game competition in the council area.
The competition began a few weeks ago and involved ten adjoining communities in the council area, from which five winners emerged in the first round. These winners were subsequently invited to the council Secretariat for the finals, which resembled a football league competition and was fiercely contested. The winners were determined based on the points accumulated throughout the competition.
Ultimately, Mark Adebayo from Itapaji Ekiti secured the first position with 12 points, followed by Bankole Aina from Irele Ekiti in second place with 11 points. Adesuyi Olorunbe from Ayebode Ekiti took the third position.
The winners received a Golden-plated Trophy and cash rewards of N50,000, N40,000, and N30,000, respectively. The two contestants who tied for the fourth and fifth positions received consolation prizes of N10,000 each.
During the competition, the Executive Chairman, Prince Michael Ogungbemi, highlighted that the event aimed to preserve Yoruba heritage and culture from fading away, emphasizing that it would foster unity and togetherness among the people.
He expressed his desire to see the competition’s winner represent Ekiti State at the National Sport Festival and, ultimately, Nigeria at the Olympics, thereby putting Ajoni LCDA on the world map.
The council boss, filled with joy, stated, “This local sport (Ayo Olopon) will help promote our indigenous culture. It engages the mind and stimulates critical thinking. It inspires quick decision-making and making the right moves when it matters most. It cultivates a can-do spirit and enhances players’ resilience to see things through.”
He further emphasized that his endeavors aimed to ensure that the essence of governance reaches every corner, positively impacting people’s lives through his developmental agendas driven by Innovation, Passion, and Creativity (IPC).
Speaking after the event, the contestants appreciated the Chairman for his foresight and effort in advancing the course of the council and for prioritizing youth and sport development.