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President-Elect Promises Better Days For Taekwondo

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The newly-elected President of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), Margaret Binga, has promised that her leadership would focus on the discovery of talents and better welfare for athletes.
Binga told newsmen in Abuja that her board would make deliberate efforts geared towards winning medals at all competitions.
She said this was because there were lots of talents at the grassroots level for the sport but they have not had the opportunity to showcase their talent.
“We will make sure that we organise competitions across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT so that the country can have the best athletes for international events.
“Over 90 per cent of members in the new board are athletes or former athletes. We know where the shoe pinches and we will ensure better days for the athletes so that the country can get more relevance in the game.
“We will also make sure we organise at least an NTF competition in each state of the country during our four-year tenure.
“This will give us the chance to get the best athletes and increase our medals in international events,” Binga said.
The federation president also said she would ensure the development of a data base for taekwondo athletes in the country.
“Our board will also develop a data base for taekwondo athletes in the country, so that we can follow their progression in the game and identify where there are gaps among the groups.
“That will help in planning for various local and international competitions, which is one of the major objectives of the federation.”
She also said there would be mixed-gender competitions, aimed at ensuring that the country raises athletes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Binga was emphatic in stating that she harbours no fears of not being able to operate effectively in the male-dominated NTF board.
“I have no fears. My sights are focused on the set-out goals. All other things are distractions and irrelevant.
“Since the board members key into the vision I have, and the media are supporting our efforts, we can achieve a lot,” she said.
Tidesports source gathered that Binga was elected as president of the federation at the 2017 National Sports Federations Election on Tuesday in Abuja.
Binga, a serving officer in the Nigeria Customs Service, is the first female President of the federation.
Speaking also at a media interactive session, 2008 Olympics taekwondo bronze medallist Chika Chukwumerije said there was need for taekwondo to start developing itself beyond government funding.
“With adequate publicity, taekwondo can generate some fund for itself and people will come and pay some token to watch, learn and enjoy the game,” he said.
Chukwumerije, who is the newly-elected athletes’ representative on the NTF board, said many people get attracted whenever they come around.
“After watching the game, they always get fascinated and will be willing to pay something to see the game develop in Nigeria,’’ he said.

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Panther, Aladumo School Sign Football Academy Deal

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Panther Football Academy has signed partnership deal with Aladumo International Schools, on Friday, at the school premises, Aba road, in Port Harcourt.
Speaking with sports journalists, shortly after putting pen on paper, the Chairman of the school, Hon. Soberekon Dikibo said the school is poised to create a career for its students.
According to him, the football academy will not reduce the educational standard of the school, but will give students the opportunity to make a career for themselves.
“I believed that the Managing Director of Panther Football Academy made sense, otherwise I wouldn’t have signed the partnership.
The football academy will not take away education career; it will rather give the students opportunity to make a career through the school.
I also believed that parents will take this opportunity for their children “Hon. Dikibo said.
Earlier the Managing Director of Panther Football Academy Mr. K  Ukwen said the school would benefit a lot from the partnership, as the academy can help acquire sports scholarship with less payment, mostly in United States for students  that prove themselves in the game.
He explained that whatever contract signed by any player from the academy the school will benefit from it.
“This partnership will benefit the school enormously, as the students will be a role model to other students. The school Aladumo will be more attractive and help to make students independent.
The academy can also help to develop their skill fast and the school will become more attractive. Ukwen said.
Also speaking, Head of technical instruction of the academy, Coach Monday Sinclair, said he will ensure that coaches are doing their job right, in the area of skills, technical and techniques.

 

Tonye Orabere

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SWAN Congratulates New Sports Minister …Reels Out Expectatios

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The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has congratulated the newly appointed Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, describing his appointment as well-deserved.
“His appointment as Minister for Youth and Sports represents a new frontier in the administration of sports in Nigeria and one that is expected to usher in dynamism, resourcefulness and focused leadership.
“As the umbrella body of all sports journalists in Nigeria, affiliated to the Association Internationale de la Presse sportive (AIPS) and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), SWAN calls on the new Minister to give every Sport adequate attention, unlike some of his predecessors that focused mainly on football to the detriment of others.
A statement issued by the National Secretariat of SWAN and signed by the Deputy Secretary General, Babafemi Raji, noted that over the years, the fortune of Nigeria in international championships had continued to dwindle due largely to lack of concerted effort to discover budding talents that abound in the length and breadth of the country.
“SWAN believes that Nigeria deserves more than what the country is getting from sports in view of the abundance of natural talents in practically every field; hence our hope that you will give priority to grassroots sports.
“Equally of importance to SWAN is the regrettable state of  federal government-owned sports facilities; we make bold to say that they are mostly in dire need of rehabilitation, especially the pitch of the now Moshood Abiola National Stadium, where it is evident that anthills are freely springing up due to lack of maintenance.
“The recent embarrassment the country faced after the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) allegedly diverted about $135,000 the world Athletics body mistakenly paid to it, is yet to abate, just as athletes representing the country at international championships were thrown out of their hotel accommodation; amidst cases of unpaid allowances and corruption in the sector.
“SWAN equally expects that the yearly allocation to the sports sector from the federation account will significantly improve, because sports is a huge industry, that if well programmed has the potential to meaningfully engage a lot of the teeming youths.
“SWAN will be ready to support you push for an increase in the allocation that comes to the ministry, by engaging relevant government agencies both at the executive and legislative arms,’’it added.

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Enyimba Sure To Thrash Rahimo FC, Sunday

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Enyimba FC’s midfielder, Austin Oladapo, has expressed confidence in the ability of the team to overturn the loss into a landslide victory against Rahimo FC of Burkina Faso come Sunday,  despite Enyimba’s 0- 1 loss about a fortnight ago in the first leg of the CAF Champions League in Ouagadougou.
Oladapo stated that the team was in form as preparations for the reverse fixture have been impressive, having thrashed Destiny FC 6-1 on Tuesday and secured wins against Diamond Stars, Wilbros FC and NPFL side Delta Force in preceding friendlies.
“I know we can come out as winners on Sunday and make everyone proud come Sunday and we are going to qualify to the next round”, Oladapo said.
It should be noted that the two-time CAF Champions League winners, Enyimba will host the Burkinabes on Sunday in a closed-door match in Aba even though Coach Usman Abdallah said they have not received a formal letter from CAF.
The People’s Elephants must gain a 2-0 win to qualify for the next stage of the competition.

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