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NCC Tennis League Cup Kicks Off In Abuja

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The 2018 edition of the annual Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Tennis League Cup teed off at the Abuja National Stadium at the weekend.
The tournament, which has been running since 2015, is an International Tennis Academy (ITA) championship sponsored by the NCC.
Declaring the tournament open at the tennis court of the Abuja National Stadium, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Umar Dambatta, assured tennis stakeholders that the commission would continue to support the event.
The EVC who was represented by Deputy Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy of the Commission, Inatimi Spiff stressed that the tournament has yielded positive results among Nigerian youths since its commencement.
“This is the fourth year that we are having this tournament and we are pleased to continue to sponsor it, because of the result it has yielded.
“Everyone is a winner and we advise the players to use this as a platform to further sharpen their skills,” Dambatta said.
Tidesports source gathered that the NCC Tennis League Cup will be played in 12 venues across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Delivering her goodwill message at the opening ceremony, a representative of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, praised the effort of the NCC and encouraged other institutions to emulate the commission’s gesture.
“This competition has been taken to 12 venues in the six geopolitical zones, which means youths in those areas have been empowered.
“I want to appeal to other institutions to support sports development because this competition shows that sports can be used to empower our youths,” Akinyemi, a director in the ministry said.
The NCC Tennis League Cup is a team-based tournament in four categories: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles.
Tidesports also reports that a total of 23 million naira prize money is up for grabs in this year’s tournament, with the overall best team smiling home with the sum of seven million naira.
The runners up and third-placed teams will earn five million and three million naira, respectively, while the fourth-placed team will be rewarded with two million naira.
Speaking at the event, President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation,Dayo Akindoju, also commended the NCC, while urging other well-meaning bodies to come on board and support the discovery of sports talents for the nation.
“The NCC Cup is one of the biggest tennis events in Nigeria. We are grateful to the commission for encouraging our youths and for discovering talents for the federation.
“We hope other institutions will emulate what the NCC is doing for sports development,” Akintoju said.
In the opening matches decided at the Centre Court of the Abuja National Stadium on Saturday, Imeh Joseph of Team Tech Vibes defeated Oparaoji Ude of Team Goshen 6-3, 6-3.
Joseph’s teammate, Thomas Otu also overpowered Emmanuel Sunday of Goshen 7-6, 6-4.
In the women’s game, Tech Vibes’ Aanu Ayegbusi dispersed Goshen’s Blessing Samuel 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the next round of the tournament.

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WAFU Zone B Qualifier: Rivers Govt Throws Weight Behind Angels FC

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Rivers State Governor, NyesomWike, has placed a marching order to accord the necessary support needed to aid the Jewels of Rivers, Rivers Angels FC  qualify from  the  West African Union(WAFU) B and ultimately win the CAF Women’s Champions League Cup.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye  disclosed this, Monday, in a press statement signed by the state government’s press officer, Daniel Nwankwoala.
The commissioner commended the team for its victory over Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana in the opening match of their group qualifier, played at the weekend.
He promised to give the necessary support needed, as ordered by the State Governor, to enable the team get the desired results, playing their CAF Women’s  qualifier and win the cup as well.
“The Governor has placed an order to ensure that the team lacks nothing needed,  to help boost their morale, help them perform optimally and aid victory, as they embarked on this maiden competition,”  Iyaye said.
Earlier, head coach of the team, Edwin Okon,  has expressed optimism that his team will perform even better, having prepared adequately for the competition.
“We will fight to the end, my girls will do even better job. I can assure you that, the(players) are  in high spirit and determined to win.
“I am glad that we don’t have injuries worries, so, we are set and ready to do Nigeria proud,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Port Harcourt, Nigeria representatives started  their campaign in the WAFU Zone B qualifier  with a 2-0 win against their Ghana opponents, Hasaacas Ladies on Saturday, to get closer to qualification for the semi-finals.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has described Elizabeth Anyanacho as a future star.
Anyanacho lost 12-7 to Turkey’s Nur Tatar in the Round of 16 of the women’s 67kg taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning.
Dare, who watched the bout, congratulated the 22-year-old despite the defeat.
“You’ve done well against a world champion. Keep your focus. The world will soon rise to salute you in the near future,” Dare told Anyanacho.
Tidesports source reports that he was also on hand to encourage Edem Offiong, who lost 4-1 in the second round of women’s table tennis to the USA’s Lily Zhang.
“You exhibited strength and talent. Nigeria thank you for making the country proud at the Olympics,” Dare told Offiong.
The pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori also lost their second Group B match in the men’s doubles badminton event against Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, while Dorcas Adesokan was beaten 2-0 by Spain’s Clara Azurmendi in the opening Group B match of the women’s badminton singles.

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We Won’t Give Up On Playing For Nigeria – Ogwumike Sisters

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Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams say they haven’t given up their dream of representing Nigeria in the future after they were denied the opportunity to play for the country women’s basketball team at the Tokyo Games.
The three WNBA stars, who all have American and Nigerian citizenship, would have strengthened D’Tigress squad at the Olympics, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled they were ineligible to represent Nigeria at the moment after having played for the United States.
“I still have a lot of pride and high hopes for the Nigerian team as it is composed now,” Nneka Ogwumike said.
“So, maybe this time around, I won’t be a part of it directly, but I certainly do hope that I can be in the future.”
“I think the fight has just begun,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “I cannot accept to being called a naturalised citizen, when I have full citizenship.
“People don’t know the extent to which my family, and myself in particular, ever since I was at Stanford, has been going back to Nigeria to help. So to have someone say that I am not Nigerian is not fair to my family or my heritage or myself. It just does not feel right at all.”
Williams, who plays for the Atlanta Dream said, “It’s really about the principle now. We’re still going to keep appealing and fighting because I think people need to understand there are a lot of us that have dual citizenship. Even if we grew up here, our households look very different than what people think, and that part of us is very real.

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