The Chairman, Ebonyi State
Badminton and Weightlifting Association, Chukwudi Unachukwu, has said that poaching of athletes, hamper the development of his sports in the state.
.Unachukwu, told newsmen in Abakaliki that it had been the inability of the state government and the private sector to collaborate to develop sports that had been responsible for the poaching of athletes from Ebonyi.
According to Unachukwu the state always excels in grooming athletes only to lose them to other states because they had been unable to meet up with their welfare needs.
“The most prominent case is that of Chika Amalagha, that the state toiled to groom to continental and world championship level in weightlifting but was eventually poached by Delta.
“We all are witnesses to how she deteriorated in Delta because their main aim was not to develop her talent, but to use her in winning laurels.
“There is also the case of Mike Onwe, one of the best badminton players in the country, who was also poached by another State in spite of all efforts that we made to keep him.
“Our consolation is that the likes of Onwe still comes to the state as he cannot easily forget his roots as well as efforts made to develop him.
“Onwe was recently in the state and we used the occasion to present our best athletes to compete against him in order to improve on their skills and techniques” .
Unachukwu, then, urged the state’s present administration and the private sector to check the trend by investing in sports for the overall development of the state.
“We lack basic facilities and funds to cater for our athletes. For instance, I’m personally sponsoring a badminton competition aimed at discovering new talents and enhancing the skills of established ones.
“Other well-meaning people should also develop interest in sports, such as badminton and weightlifting,’’ added Unachukwu, the current President of the Golden Fitness club, Abakaliki.
He said that badminton was one of the best sports that one could take to, as the players could exercise all parts of the body.
The president said this could enhance a players’ skill and keep them physically and mentally fit.
“Several youths have used weightlifting as a springboard to achieve their life ambitions and subsequently becoming useful to their families and the society.
“Adequate attention should be paid to sports development by relevant bodies especially, in the current bid to check youth restiveness and other forms of criminality,’’ he said.
SWAN Lauds NFF On COVID-19 Palliatives
The President of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo, has applauded the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on the transparent manner it disbursed the COVID-19 palliative package from FIFA, CAF and other sponsors.
Sirawoo, who expressed delight in the N 11,580,000 (eleven million, five hundred and eighty thousand) Naira that was earmarked for SWAN said the NFF was meticulous in ensuring that all the stakeholders in Nigerian football were duly captured.
He further noted that the gesture will in no small way enhance the cordial working relationship between the NFF and other stakeholders especially SWAN, even as he urged all the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the grant.
“The leadership of the NFF has displayed a very high degree of transparency in the manner it handled the COVID-19 palliatives from its various sponsors by ensuring that all the stakeholders in the football development chain were captured.
“We in SWAN are particularly happy because this recognition will go a long way in alleviating the impact of the pandemic which has slowed down the economic activities of the country.”
“We thank the President of the NFF, AmajuPinnick and members of his Board for this well-thought and timely gesture; our members have gone through various degrees of pains following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, we say thank you NFF,” he declared.
The SWAN President also assured that he will ensure that all the members of the association in its 37 state chapters were given their due from the amount.
Opara Dumps Enyimba
Defender, Austin Opara has parted ways with Enyimba International of Aba, despite joining the club twelve months ago.
Opara reached an agreement to terminate his contract despite having two more years on his contract he signed last year.
Opara joined the 2019 Nigeria professional football league Champions after ending his successful spell with the MFM Football Club of Lagos, where he captained the team for several seasons.
Opara arrived Aba giants with much promise but he found first-team opportunities difficult to come by, no thanks to the solid partnership of Anaemena and Adebayo at the back.
The hard-tackling defender is also behind Nelson Ogbonnaya down the pecking order, which only makes him Fatai Osho’s fourth choice.
Opara is however free to join any team of his choice ahead of 2020-2021 campaign.
COVID-19, Setback To League Players – Mbaoma
Enyimba player, Victor Mbaoma, has stated that league players at this rate have been put at a disadvantaged position with the current COVID-19 situation and the level of things with regard to when football will return.
Mbaoma, speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, said the current situation with regard to waiting for government approval, whereas their counterparts abroad are able to play behind closed doors, means league players are worst affected and may not be ready to be in the scheme of things until next year, career-wise and even with regard to movement abroad.
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