The UIMSA Executive Council for the 2022/2023 Tenure was dissolved on Saturday, the 30th of March, 2024. For accountability’s sake, it is pertinent to give a comprehensive review of their performance. This article will specifically focus on the office of the Sports Secretary, occupied by Mr. David Akinnusoye.

It was observed that the last elections took place with several offices left vacant, the office of the Sports Secretary, a key one.  Qualified candidates were later called for and co-opted into these offices. Mr. David, when asked why he did not declare his intent from the outset of the election period, pointed out that he had plans to run for the post sometime,  but considered the feasibility of piloting the sports affairs of UIMSA from preclinicals. However, no one emerged to run,  so he applied and was eventually appointed.

The tenure began energetically with the mantra of popular participation and inclusivity in sports. The first noticeable activity was the UIMSA Keepfit, a monthly workout venture to keep UIMSAites fit and healthy. UIMSA Keepfit witnessed a considerable turn-out from the Preclinical and clinical arms. The program was to be held monthly but took place in four of the ten months of the tenure. Mr. David, when asked why the Keepfit did not hold subsequently, stated that the sports committee couldn’t keep up with the event timeline as the events of UIMSA generally increased as the tenure progressed, with most events clashing with the routine. To avoid disruptions in subsequent tenures, he recommended reducing the timeline of the routine, probably bimonthly, together with proper planning and consideration of clashing activities.

The run got more interesting with the Inter-MSA friendlies between UIMSA and IFUMSA (OAU Medical Students’ Association) on Saturday, July 29th, 2023. The games were held at the ABH Quadrangle and SMLS pitch in UCH, featuring Chess, Scrabble and Male Football. The event was memorable, as UIMSA made a clean sweep of every category, showing the dominance of UIMSA in sports at the MSA level,  and a good omen for the NIMSA games coming later in 2024. Worthy of note is the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) which also began around this period and has since concluded. 

Virtual Chess and Scrabble leagues were organized by the Sports Committee halfway through the tenure. The games were played mostly on weekends, from October to November. At the end of the tournament, winners of both categories (chess and scrabbles) were determined from their respective classes.

As the tenure entered its last quarter, the biggest annual sporting event, the UIMSA Ulympics, kick-started. It took on a larger scale track and field events were also included with the regular line-up of football, basketball,  and volleyball. The category of female football was also included for the first time in a while. The participation amongst all classes witnessed this time was especially groundbreaking, especially with the high level of interest in female sports compared to previous editions. 

Also noteworthy, was the close-to-zero record of physical or verbal bullying during the games which had been a staple in previous editions. According to Mr David, he had noticed the Ulympics Football tournament was structured in a “do or die” way, with each game being a knockout from start to end. Hence, classes resorted to more physical approaches to get more game time. As such, the games were restructured to a group stage format for each team to get at least 2-3 matches before proceeding to knockouts, mitigating the desperation that might lead to violence. 

Quality performances were also witnessed in various inter-departmental sports in which the UIMSA Sports Team participated. The SEALS Cup run was a standout as UIMSA clinched the third-place trophy with individual awards. Also, the Male and Female UIMSA football teams made it to the Provost Cup finals before settling for silver on penalties. The UIMSA football team also progressed in the Super Cup before being stopped on penalties at the semis. 

To round off the tenure, the maiden Sports Awards Night was held during the Healthweek; a beautiful initiative and the first in UIMSA history. Mr David emphasized a need to set up a proper reward system to encourage sportsmen and pique the interest of UIMSAites who are interested in pursuing one sport or the other. 

In totality, Mr. David surpassed expectations as the outgoing Sports Secretary as his mantra of inclusivity and popular participation was pushed to a greater percentage. When asked about his greatest challenge during the tenure, he pointed to insufficient funding. Moving forward, Mr. David recommended leveraging on UIMSA alumni who are passionate about sports and reaching out earlier.

Below are what others think about the just concluded tenure of Mr. David:

“Briefly, I think the just concluded sports secretary has laid down a legacy in UIMSA sports such that I am curious as to how the next sports secretary wants to half it not to even talk of doing up to it or more than it. It was beyond superb which made me really curious as to what the next sports secretary has for us.”

Abdul-Azeez, 100 level

“I think he was one of a kind. Selfless and determined to ensure excellence prevails. I’ll give him a solid 10/10. It was the most interesting and inclusive tenure ever to the best of my knowledge by a country mile.”

Lolade, 200 level

“Generally, he did a great job. Initially, considering that he was a preclinical student at the time, I thought it was going to be a bit difficult as he had to go to several meetings, all in UCH. From reviving Inter MSA football friendlies to UIMSA keep-fit, he delivered fantastically well.”

Tofunmi, 300 level

“ David’s tenure was a really fun tenure. We felt his presence as the sports secretary, especially as females. We were able to participate in a number of matches he organized and he made us feel included. He was very easy to relate with.”

Chioma, 400 level

“David did an excellent job building on the foundation laid by his predecessors. He has established a framework that UIMSAites will keep benefiting from. I’m optimistic about the future of sports in UIMSA.”

Eseosa, 500 level

Moshood Sidiq 

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