The first time I attended the NSSFF Sports Day 3 years ago, I knew the organisers were onto something big.
The only one of its kind so far in the UK, the NSSFF (Nigerian Schools Sports &Family Fun Day) broke the mould of Nigerian community events in the UK. Many of the events we normally see are indoor, all dressed up formal events, concerts and parties. But the NSSFF sports day is the only outdoor Nigerian event in London where you can come dressed casually and bring the kids along with you too to have a full day of fun.
Founded in 2012 as a nod to the Summer Olympics in London, the organisers came together with the view to holding a one off event that will bring Nigerians in London together in the spirit of sports and family fun just like the Olympics. But the event was such an unexpected success that to just leave it at that one event was unimaginable
The NSSFF concept was based on an initiative of Igbobi College Old Boys Association (ICOBA) Europe and inspired by the London 2012 Olympics. ICOBA (Europe) had been holding a popular small scale Summer Sports and Family Fun Day for their friends and family for a few years.
Early in 2102 Mr Wole Sanwo of ICOBA (Europe) approached his friend Mr Bimbo Babarinde the President of Comprehensive High School Aiyetoro (Compronians UK) with the idea of building on the success of the ICOBA Fun Day initiative by rolling it out to other UK based Alumni Associations to have a larger and more organised event with the aim of connecting Nigerians, promoting awareness and developing communities. It was felt that with the euphoria and excitement generated by the news of the Olympics coming to London it would be ideal to have a Grand event a Nigerian own “Mini- Olympics” along side.
In April 2012, at a meeting at Lagos Island Restaurant in Walthamstow, Messrs Sanwo and Babarinde met with Executives of 18 Alumni Associations who were keen on the concept and collaboration and thus, the NSSFF was born.
However, the first NSSFF Sports Day was so successful that the organisers decoded unanimously to make it a continuous annual event.
The NSSFF Sports and Family Fun Day is now an Annual Summer Event in its 4th year and is a firm favourite in the UK-Nigerian calendar, particularly during the August Bank Holiday Weekend consistently drawing over 800 attendees of various ages and backgrounds.
It has been described as one of the ‘largest social gathering of Nigerians in the UK” . It continues to receive rave reviews from far and wide.
So successful are the NSSFF events that the 2014 edition won the ‘Outstanding Event of the Year’ accolade at the recent Nigerian Events Awards (NEA) UK.
This year’s deition of the event saw even bigger attendance from new areas of the UK/London Nigerian Community. An even more aggressive promotional campaign by the organisers brought greater awareness to the NSSFF and ensured that the Award Winning Event attracted more audience. In spite of the rain that largely marked this year’s Bank Holiday weekend in London, there was a massive turn out for the event and the weather failed in dampening the enthusiasm of the hundreds of old Nigerian schools students that turned up with their kids who also took part in various track and field events.
The keenly contested football match for the prestigious Principal’s Cup was won by Baptist Academy Old Students UK.