Cross River State governor,
Liyel Imoke has directed chairmen of Local Government councils to play active parts in the State Primary/Secondary School Athletics and Swimming Championship as from next year.
Imoke stated this during the closing ceremony of the third Cross River State Primary/Secondary School Athletics and Swimming Championship at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
He said the decision was hinged on the fact that some chairmen were lagging behind thereby thwarting the effort of government in realizing the benefit of its comprehensive sports development programme.
The governor maintained that those who excelled in the championship should be celebrated and every child should have equal opportunity to excel.
He stressed that chairmen should be part of the championship and every child partaking in it should be fully kitted from head to toe and nobody should run bare footed because they are champions.
On the essence of the championship, the governor disclosed that it was organised for children to express their talents to become champions in sports and academics.
Imoke expressed that the outcome of the championship was a reflection of the fact that people have job and have passion for their work and the children had realized their talent through them
The governor disclosed that government had introduced a special education programme with full scholarship for those whose talents have been discovered and are undergoing training while their allowances will be increased.
He further said buses will be sent to the six selected schools for sports excellence because he wants the beneficiaries to be champions in the 2014 National Sports Festival to be hosted by the state.
According to him, the athletes did the state proud last year when the state hosted the National School Sports Festival and promised to provide them what ever they need to support them
Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, said the closing was significant because it coincided with the Children’s Day celebration and 13 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria.
Ugbe disclosed that standards had improved while the children were adequately taken care of unlike previous editions.
The commissioner remarked that some of the champions picked from the championship will grow to represent the state in 2014 National Sports Festival and also not too long, represent the country in future.
He thanked chairmen of local government councils that participated in the championship and warned that next year, the rules will be very tough.
On the scope of the championship, Ugbe disclosed that swimming was included this year and in few years, it will grow to become a full blown festival with other sporting events attached to it.
Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams who reached the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performances, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, who plays in the second tier Nigerian National League, on Friday defeated Premier League neighbours Rivers United 1-0 in the semi-finals, while Bayelsa Queens crushed perennial rivals Rivers Angels 5-0 to reach the women’s final.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating Premier League sides Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Rivers United on their way to the final.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time,” Diri stated.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, is on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.
D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket
Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigress, have been drawn to face Mozambique and a yet to qualify team in Group B of the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket, which holds from September 17 to 27 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The draw was held in Yaounde last Saturday.
D’Tigress will be hoping to retain the title they won two years ago in Senegal, where they defeated the hosts in the final. A win in Cameroon will mean they have won the last three editions of the tournament.
The Nigerians will know their final group opponent when the FIBA Zone 6 qualifiers take place from August 16 to 22.
In Group A, hosts Cameroon will face Cape Verde and Kenya, while Senegal, the most successful team in the competition’s history with 11 first-place finishes, will slug it out with Egypt and Gabon in Group C.
Mali, Ivory Coast, and a team to be decided via wild card will fight for a slot in the next round in Group D.
Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45
Football fans in Ebonyi State yesterday, celebrated the birthday of formerNigerian international and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The former Super Eagles skipper turned 45 yesterday.
Tidespoets source gathered that the 1993 FIFA U-17 world cup winner, fondly called “Papillo’’ by his fans had 86 caps for Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club of Owerri’s talisman scored 13 goals for Nigeria in an enviable career that spanned from 1994 to 2010.
Kanu is a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), an Olympic Games football gold medalist and had illustrious club careers with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion of England.
Defunct Ebonyi Angels FC of Abakaliki Defender, James Onele, said that Kanu thrilled soccer fans across the world with sublime skills and trademark passes.
“Kanu won two African Footballer of the Year awards, an AFCON silver medal, four AFCON bronze medals among other honours.
“He was the first Nigerian, alongside Finidi George to win the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy with Ajax in 1995,” said Onele.
An Arsenal FC supporter, Ejike Okoro, said the club’s fans were proud of Kanu’s achievements during his time with the English Premier League side.
“Kanu played 197 times for Arsenal, scoring 44 goals and was part of the club’s invincible team that did not lose any match in the 2003-04 EPL season.
“He was instrumental in endearing Arsenal to millions of Nigerian soccer fans, despite later dropping to lowly-rated clubs such as Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion,” Okoro said.
A banker and football enthusiast, Chief Barry Ogoh, told active footballers to emulate Papillo in investing adequately for the ‘rainy day’.
“Kanu, Augustine J.J. Okocha, among other ex-internationals are still financially stable as many ex-internationals have become bankrupt.
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