Ex-Iwuanyanwu National, now Heartland FC worldwide, has formalized a partnership with the Imo State Sports Commission for grassroots sports development, talent scouting, and talent harnessing.
This partnership was solidified during a courtesy visit to Ambassador Prince Ogbonna, the head of the sports commission, by the Executive members of Ex-Iwuanyanwu National, led by Mr. Isaac Mbika, at his office in New Owerri.
During his address to the Sports Commission boss and the staff present, President Mr. Isaac Mbika, on behalf of the group, unveiled the purpose of their visit, which revolves around giving back to the society that shaped them.
Mbika emphasized that since his election into office, he has pledged to change the narrative of Ex-Iwuanyanwu National worldwide association. He stressed that the group has the necessary manpower to collaborate with the commission in grassroots sports development, aligning with the vision of the Imo State Government for the youth.
Mbika stated, "Ex-Iwuanyanwu National worldwide is a brand with members scattered all over the world. This society made us who we are today, and we want to give back to the society by helping out in this project."
"We are here to partner with the sports commission, acknowledging that Chairman Sports Commission Ambassador Prince Ogbonna understands the language of sports and has what it takes to deliver. We have nothing less than 25 licensed agents in this group, with more coming up. We have licensed coaches, certified FIFA, CAF, and NFF licensed coaches."
"In the area of harnessing and marketing talents, we have the manpower, and that is why we are here to partner with you. It is time for us to give back to the society that made us, and the best channel for this is to align with the sports commission’s quest for grassroots sports development," Mbika added.
In response, the delighted sports commission boss, Ambassador Prince Ogbonna, thanked the group for offering this selfless service, aligned with the youth empowerment vision of Governor Hope Uzodimma. He emphasized the mission of using sports to eradicate crime in society, particularly targeting secondary schools.
Ambassador Prince Ogbonna stated, "I appreciate this visit from this noble group, and I’m happy to endorse this partnership, which will also help in the realization of Governor Hope Uzodimma’s vision for youth empowerment. The mission here is simple: using sports to eradicate crime amongst our youths."
"When you have a society filled with jobless youths, you will be faced with outright lawlessness, crimes, juvenile delinquency. We will enter every community with the good news of sports. We will go to communities and schools in rural areas to organize seminars and tell these youths what they want to hear."
"Tell everyone in Iwuanyanwu Nationale that the man in charge is one that loves sports. Let us be transparent. Whatever belongs to you will go to you as well as the government. This is the time we need to come together to make progress."
It is worth noting that Iwuanyanwu National is the only team that has represented Nigeria in international competitions. Iwuanyanwu National represented Nigeria at the Olympics in 1988 and was rated the best team in Africa. Later, Iwuanyanwu National was renamed Heartland Football Club.