As the curtain fell on the 6th National Youth Games (NYG) 2021 inside the University of Ilorin Complex, yesterday, Team Rivers emerged overall fifth with a record haul of medals.
Despite targeting a podium finish, the team recorded a total of 33 medals, 11 gold, eight silver and14 bronze medals to record her best performance and medal haul since the inception of the Games in 2013.
The team after a slow start was on line for a podium finish until a combination of late gold rush, particularly, by Lagos and Bayelsa teams and illluck in some medal contests saw them lose ground on the penultimate day of the Games.
However, Team Rivers was in the mix for the medal rush in the final two days as Daniel Mba secured gold in golf’s Ecletics event for boys with a total gross of 74 and Christie Obomanu won silver in match play for girls. She had won gold the previous day in stroke play with a score of 82 gross.
Basketball also delivered gold as the Fubara Onyenabo tutored boys showed class, dominating their Ebonyi counterparts 21 -12 in the semi final before edging out Bauchi 16-15 in the gold medal match. It was one of the most keenly contested basketball event in the history of the Games.
Tennis provided gold in the mixed event, Shot put, boys, a silver, 4 by 100 m, a bronze and Amarachukwu Ezeakor got silver in Chess.
Added to the basketball gold on the final day were a gold medal in Kung Fu, where Cynthia Phillips subdued her opponent from Nasarawa via Technical Knock Out (TKO).
During the closing ceremony, Rivers further secured silver and bronze in 4 by 400 mixed relay and 200m, boys.
For Team Delta, it was medal blitz from Day 1 to the last day, clinching the first position with a whopping haul of 114 medals, 60 gold, 26 silver and 28 bronze medals.
They were in a blitzing form on the final day, especially, the closing ceremony events, claiming all the four gold medals available in 200m girls, 200m boys, 4 by 100 m mixed relay and 4 by 400 m mixed relay.
Speaking just before the closing ceremony, the leader of Team Rivers delegation and Permanent Secretary of Rivers State Ministry of Sports, Sir Honour Sirawoo described the state’s performance as a tremendous achievement, finishing top five and recording the number of medals they did for the first time.
“The beauty of it all is that there’s improvement on performance, judging from previous performances in 2018 and 2019. In sports, what you desire is development and improvement. We have learnt our lessons from this experience and I assure that from next time, based on what we have discovered now, which we’re going to work on, we are definitely going to do better”.
Top 10 on the medal table are Delta with 114 medals, Lagos with 72 medals, Bayelsa with 46 medals, Ogun with 45 medals Edo with 40 medals, FCT with 36 medals, Rivers had 33 medals, the Host state; Kwara grabbed 32 medals, Oyo with 31 medals and Ondo state with 30 medals among every other performing states.
By: Gabriel Nwanetanya
CAFCC: Rivers United Defeats Al Masry 2-1 In Aba
In the 35th minutes, Ishaq Kayode restored United to the lead which was assisted by Malachi Ohawume.
Speaking with Tidesports shortly after the game, the Sole administrator of Rivers United FC, Barrister Christopher Green, described the result as not what they expected.
According to him, they expected the pride of Rivers to have scored more than the two goals but well, they still need to fight back in the second leg.
“ Not what we expected.Well it was a highling contested game.
But we need to fight back in the return leg,” Green said.
Green who is also the Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor on Real Madrid Football Academy further explained that, the pride of Rivers will have to fight back to get the ticket to qualify for the group stage of the tournament.
Why Budweiser Brought Terry, Carlos To Nigeria – Adedeji
Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga, understands the love for football by all Nigerians. Football is one of Nigerian’s strongest passions. The love for football goes beyond watching matches to the banter that connects consumers online and offline.
According to Adedeji, every fan believes they know what’s best for their team and always have something to say about managers and coaches’ decisions. The Budweiser Game of Kings aimed to create a unique experience for consumers.
She noted that consumers get to have a say on what happens on the pitch by being the team managers of Kings FC captained by John Terry and Kings FC, captained by Roberto Carlos. And for the first time, both international players played alongside Nigerian Professional Football League players.
As the official beer of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga, the aim was to bring two international football greats from the Premier League and La Liga. And after months of research among football fans in Nigeria, we identified John Terry and Roberto Carlos as two international players who have impacted the Nigerian players and fans over the years and they both formed the perfect duo for the campaign.
She explained that the idea by Budweiser was to use the opportunity to put the Nigerian professional league under the spotlight. We decided to partner with the Nigerian Professional League. Allow our very own professional league players to play alongside the international legends on the same pitch.
She said that the campaign was successful beyond our expectations. Budweiser gained massive media attention and every football lover was excited to be a part of the campaign. Several fans were at the stadium and millions watched the match from their homes on television. The match was broadcast across NTA Network, STV Network and SuperSport Channels on GoTV and DStv. Others also watched online on YouTube and other Budweiser social media platforms.
Budweiser created a first of its kind experience for the Nigerian professional league players and fans with a series of events that they will live to remember for a long time.
“As the official beer of the FIFA World Cup, Premier League and Spanish La Liga, Budweiser’s commitment to creating unique football experiences in Nigeria remains intact and, we are planning something even bigger for the World Cup year in 2022.
“Consumers interested in becoming managers were required to look under the crown cork of Budweiser for the unique code that gives them a chance to participate in the draw to become managers. Successful consumers selected from the draws received invites to audition for the manager position,” she said.
”The audition panel consisted of officials from the National Professional League organising committee. The audition panel, therefore, conducted the interviews to determine the managers.
“Budweiser is committed to consistently bringing consumers new and exciting experiences. To stay in touch, I will suggest you follow our social media pages @BudweiserNigeria.
“Football is one of the platforms that unite the world, and it is a strong passion point of Nigerian consumers. Budweiser is therefore committed to bringing consumers elevated experiences and joy.” She concluded.
Firm Honours Jonathan With Wrestling Competition, Other Sports
Speaking with newsmen in Otuoke, home town of the former president, at the weekend, Managing Director/CEO of the company, Engineer Gospel Obolo identified sports as having the capacity to reduce crime and criminality in the society.
According to him, wrestling is the number one sports in Ijaw-land, adding that no meaningfully engaged youth would take to crime.
“We’ve been planning this event for almost a year now. We decided to take a date which would coincide with the celebration of our icon, former president’s birthday so as to use these wrestling and the other sporting and cultural activities to commemorate his birthday by drawing the attention of the world.
This is the maiden edition,but we intent to carry out this programme annually.With sports,we can create jobs for our teeming youth and other unemployed citizens of this country,” Engr. Obolo said.
The Tidesports reports that the maiden edition of the event which was tagged, ‘Ibe Onin’ is expected to last for 17 days and has since begun with musical performance by notable artists and mock traditional wrestling trials.
In the same vein,the Paramount ruler of Otuoke, His Royal Highness, Ariwareni Paul(Oke xi) has also described the idea behind the event as unique.
The monarch who spoke through the second deputy paramount ruler of the community, HRH Mirobebh Dogood Akpufu decried the spate of youth restiveness in the area, saying that an event of this magnitude would not only curb youth restiveness, but can also create jobs for youths.
He commended the organisers for the feat, just as he noted that Bayelsa was blessed with abundant talents and tourism potentials waiting to be harnessed for the economic advantage.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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