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In 1998, SPDC and its joint venture partners: the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria, and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, initiated the NNPC/Shell Cup Tournament.
Over the past 18 years, the social investment initiative has grown. Today, we are a bona fide platform for the discovery of new football talent from secondary schools across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The championship has also become a veritable feedstock for the Nigerian national teams and professional league in Nigeria.
Now in its 18th edition, the NNPC-Shell Cup competition has recorded many gains. However, the one success we are most proud of is the reduction of the number of boys who have abandoned their education in pursuit of a football career. Combining sports with education is the true purpose of the NNPC/Shell Cup, and this has remained the driving principle.
Once again, a three-man team from the Dutch Feyenoord Academy in Rotterdam, a world-renowned youth football talent factory has been invited to provide coaching clinics for the semi-finalists, as well as the coaches of the semi-finalist schools. The partnership is aimed at exposing our youths to international coaching experience and improving the quality of the tournament.
Our objective is to develop a pool of trained-the-trainer coaches who would take the knowledge back to their various schools and to other coaches who would not attend the training. In addition to the training element, we are happy to announce the introduction of a new reward for the two most outstanding players in the tournament. The best two players in the 2018 edition would be sponsored to Feyenoord Football Academy for a short further practical sessions and exposure.
The semifinalist players and their coaches are rewarded with a total cash of N3.4million while their schools get a total of N4.8million in cash for the development of facilities and infrastructure in their respective schools that will impact positively on the physical and mental development of the students. NNPC/Shell Cup objective is to develop football talent that will pursue their passion as vigorously as they pursue their studies.