President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Hon. Daniel Igali, has described the just-concluded Baraza Champion of Champions wrestling tournament in Yenagoa, as ‘one of the best-organised’ in the country in recent times, while thanking sponsors, Baraza Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd, for sponsoring the competition and Bayelsa State Government for their support.
Over 50 wrestlers across the country participated in the 4-day tournament from 15th through 18th of this month, vying for medals in 11 Olympic weight classes in Women Wrestling and Freestyle events at the ultra-modern Dynamite Theatre of Wrestling Complex, in what is their first competition since the African Championships in Algiers in February, last year, no thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Baraza Champion of Champions wrestling competition was undoubtedly one of the best-organised competitions we’ve had,” the World and Olympic champion noted. “Though, it was small, the numbers of athletes that competed were not at the same level of athletes that we normally had competing in other tournaments, but it was probably one of the toughest tournaments.
“We had it spread over three days; four weight classes per day essentially, and so the referees were not over-burdened.
“We had new technology that we used at this tournament.
“The referees, officials and everyone here adjudged this to be one of the best tournaments we’ve ever held in Nigeria.
“At a personal level, I was very satisfied with what I saw. The athletes wrestled very well. Aside the fact that this was their first competition in 11 months, everything else appeared to be in sync.”
Speaking after the tournament, Igali, who is also the Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Bayelsa State, specially expressed gratitude to Baraza Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd, who bankrolled the tournament, as well as Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Abraham Ingobere, for their respective financial donations to the competition.
“I am extremely grateful to Baraza Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd for the sponsorship that we enjoyed from them,” Igali said.
“I am extremely grateful to the Governor and Government of Bayelsa State. The Governor (Sen. Douye Diri) personally coming to witness the event and present medals and also donating the sum of N2 million to support the competition.
“And I’m also extremely appreciative of the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Abraham Ingobere, who also came in his capacity as Speaker and represented the House of Assembly, and also donated the sum of N500, 000 to the competition.
“The support we received from everyone was invaluable and we hope this competition will be one that we can continue to stage in Bayelsa annually.”
Stakeholders Excited As Wike Unveils PH Real Madrid Academy, ’Morrow
Port Harcourt Real Madrid Football Academy will officially be the commissioned tomorrow, by Honourable minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare.
The academy was initiated and completed by the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, in partnership with Real Madrid Football Club, in Spain, with the view to develop and promote grassroots football in Nigeria.
It is worthy to note that academy will run normal the school calendar, vacation and other sporting activities, apart from football.
Speaking to some stake holders, the President of Mauythai Federation of Nigeria (MFN), Comrade Paul Egonu, rated the academy high, saying that the project is laudable.
He noted that the facilities being used for the project were world class standard, both the hostels and classrooms were real conducive learning environment.
According to him, for the academy to be sustained after this administration, the state House of Assembly should pass into law for its funding and maintenance.
“I want to advise Rivers people not to see this project as Wike project; they should rather see it as Rivers State Government project.
Board constituted to run the affairs of the academy, there should be yearly budget for it, so that issue of funds will not crumble the academy, after this government,” Egonu said.
The proprietor of Blessed Soccer Football Academy, Blessed Ogbonda, also commended the state governor, Nyesom Wike, for the vision to promote grassroots football.
He noted the academy was first of its kind in this part of the world, saying that what interests him more is the combination of football and academics.
“Honestly, I must say that the project is one of the best in the world. It has given hope to the grassroots coaches,” Ogbonda said.
Before now, the Technical Adviser of Super Eagles, Gernort Rohr, had also scored the infrastructure of Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt high.
He stated that what captured his interest most was the combination of normal school curriculum and football.
He further stated that what he saw could be compared to the best football academies in Europe.
“The infrastructure are very high, they are like the best ones in Europe, like Spain, Barcelona and Valencia football academies. In Germany, we have Bayern Munich football academy. We also have in France,” Rohr said.
The technical adviser explained that football academies has produced some prominent players like Paul Pogba and the rest.
He commended Rivers State governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike for doing a great job.
Also, Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on the Academy, Barrister Christopher Green, said, that he was not in doubt that the institution would produce the best next generation of athletes in the country.
“At the moment, even before the formal invitation for application, the academy has received over 6,000 applications and still counting. This goes to show the quality of the facility the state government has put on ground and how the people have perceived it”, said Barr Green.
The academy project was conceived by Governor Nyesom Wike a little over a year ago and has been built with the technical partnership of Real Madrid Football Club, Spain, with a view to developing football talents and the youths in the state and Nigeria at large.
According to Green, the management of the academy has got one of the best recruitment agents in the world and the teaching model would be different from the usual.
“The Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has passion for football and we are going to combine the game and academics.
It is not our doing, but the Almighty God led Governor Wike to give this to Rivers people and Nigeria in general.
Wike is a miracle worker, not everybody gave him or us a chance, but today we are all living witnesses to what is happening.
I also believe that the next generation of very good athletes would come out of here.
We have gotten one of the best recruitment agents, the teachers and instructors would use different model from others to teach, so that it will be easier to understand,” Barrister Green said.
He explained that the academy will run normal school calendar for six years’ programme, adding that the important aspect of the academy is that, if anyone could not cope in the sporting area, the person can have vocation training in other areas like, electrical, automobile, Telecom and other departments.
Stories by: Tonye Orabere
Okon Attributes Rivers Angels’ Performance To Dedication, Hardwork
Head Coach of Rivers Angels Football Club of Port Harcourt, Edwin Okon, has attributed his side’s recent form in the 2020/2021 Nigeria Women Football league (NWFL) Premiership season to dedication and hardwork.
The reigning NWFL champions who are yet to taste defeat in this season’s campaign have been without their first choice central defenders, AmaechiOjini and Margaret Etim in three straight games.
In spite of this, the Jewel Of Rivers have recorded 2 away victories and 2 home win, a feat Okon described as impeccable.
“The League has been a very strong one so far, but I’m happy with how things are going,” began the former Super Falcons coach.
“I thank God for how it’s been from week one to the last week in Port Harcourt.
“The dedication and hard work from players always lead to success and discipline as well.
“I have quality players who are always ready to step in when the need arises.
“You can see that I have been without my two centrals but it hasn’t in any way affected our game because those called upon have been doing the job,” Okon added.
Rivers Angels FC is now warming up to visit Dreamstars Ladies FC in one of the Week 9 fixtures of the 2020/2021 NWFL season scheduled to hold in Lagos State, at the Agege Township Stadium, Agege
Dreamstars Ladies have not been too visible since the inception of the premiership this season, but we still have to prepare to meet them. Things might change,” he said.
“There are no pushovers in women’s football today as far as I’m concerned,” Okon said.
Rivers Angels are 2nd on the log with 20 points while Dreamstars Ladies FC are currently at the bottom with 3 points from 8 matches played so far.
It would be recalled that the. Jewels of Rivers defeated their opponent Royal Queens 3-0 in the week 8 fixtures played at the University of Port Harcourt Football pitch (UNIPORT), Choba.
While Dreamstars Ladies FC lost 0-5 to host, FC Robo Queens at the Legacy pitch, National Stadium, Surulere.
Coach Targets African Youth Volleyball Championship Success
Head coach of the Nigeria team, Mohammed Sani at the weekend, said that his target was to win the ongoing U-19 Boys African Nations Volleyball Championship, in Abuja.
Sani told journalists, after winning the second match against Gambia 3-1, that his team would work hard to secure a ticket for the World Cup in Iran.
He said he was satisfied with the performance of his players which gave them a good result.
“The match was not as tough as the match against Cameroon. I still have one match to go which will give me assurance of going to Iran for the World Cup
“We need to work on court and nest defence and then a cute of intellectual of the players.
“My target is to win the African Youth tournament which will give me a ticket to Iran, the target is very achievable,” Sani said.
Tidesports source gathered that in the match played at the MoshoodAbiola National stadium, the Nigerian team was on top of their game to defeat their Gambian counterparts.
Nigeria beat Gambia 25-20 in the first set, Gambia fought back to win the second set 25-23.
The Nigerian team fought back to take the third set 25-20 and also won the fourth set 25-19 to achieve the 3-1 final score line.
Speaking with newsmen, the Coach of Gambia, Marie Wadda, said her players played well even though they lost their second match.
“We wanted to win this game, but it turned out the other way for us.
“The race is between the three of us, Cameroon has four points, now Nigeria has five points with this win, we are with two points..
“We will work hard to win our match on Sunday against Cameroon to have five points, we only played with 10 players and the substitution was not coming forth from my side.
“My players displayed good skills in their game and I am proud of them,” she said.
The U-18 Girls and U-19 Boys African Nations Volleyball championship, which started on Thursday is expected to end tomorrow.
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