By Basil K Mbuye
The President of Njalla Quan Sports Academy, NQSA, Henry Njalla Quan Junior, has reiterated that the institution blends sports and academy to create footballers with brains.
He was speaking during a three-day catch-up recruitment process that took place from September 10 to September 12 at the institution’s training centre at Man-O-War Bay in Limbe.
“It is more than just football or sports at NQSA. It is about bridging the gap between sports and academics. Here, all our trainees go to school. We ensure that they don’t only go to school but they do their best in school by making them understand that football, or sports, just compliments their daily lives. Not all of them are going to reach the top level in football. It is important for them to do well in their academics which is a backup plan, so that even if they become professional footballers tomorrow, they already have some foundation for their retirement,” Njalla Quan Junior.
The annual event was first carried out this year in August and the catch-up this September involved close to 100 participants. Twenty will be selected by the centre and given scholarships to enhance their football talents in the centre. The catchup was due to the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic that saw schools closed, made it difficult for the management to carry out the process in the normal way.
The exercise involved children from the age of nine to 18.
Before the recruitment process started, the trainees went through medical process with a series of tests conducted on them. Also, measures to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic were put in place under the surpervision of NQSA’s medical consultant, Dr. Martin Ekiti.
“We have reduced the number of participants per group. Instead of having a large group, we have limited the number to, at most, 45 per group, because, we need to secure the health of the participants,” Dr. Ekiti told reporters.
Under the supervsision of the Technical Director, Freddy Kouoh and Coach, Edwin Teteh, the participants went through the various processes of talent dictation. After this, they engaged in a 30-minute evaluation game.
Participants expressed their dreams if selected and thanked the management of NQSA for giving them the opportunity.
“We were well received here and we are feeling comfortable. I really hope that my work convinced the trainers, because I would really love to stay here. I know all the qualities present at the Njalla Quan Sport Academy,” 17-year-old Nsome Wandje said.
Created in 2000 by the late Henry Njalla Quan, the centre has been a breeding ground for talents in Cameroon and Africa. AFCON winners like Collins Fai and Robert Ndip Tambe, among others, passed through the centre. The team, in 2014 and 2015, suffered back-to-back relegation from the Elite One and Two championships, respectively.