A grassroots sports exponent in Rivers State, Prince Iyalla Ibifaa Dappa has called for the resuscitation of the Rivers State Sports Institute, Isaka, as the once impressive institution is now a shadow of itself
According to Dappa, the institute was a haven for blending of academic and sports development in the state and beyond towards nurturing talents for future.
Making the call in a chat with Tidesports yesterday, Dappa, who is also the president of Garden City All Stars Football Club, said that the rot at Isaka should be arrested without further delay.
He explained that the institute which was modeled after the Western sporting philosophy where sports men and women are discovered and natured in line with their sporting interest, and still given commensurate educational opportunities like their peers who are not sports inclined.
The Prince continued that this approach which is more fashionable in Europe and America is aimed at making the youths more relevant in the scheme of things, even when they retire from active sports.
In his words; “The Sports Institute at Isaka is a ground for catching them young, building them up in other to meet with the challenges of the sporting world because the structure is usally designed to brush up the athletes sportswise and educationally, to a level that even when they are done with the physical game, they can still find themselves useful in the society, sometimes as sports administrators.
Dappa further maintained that sporting institutions in the mould of Isaka Sports Institute should be established in all the local government headquarters in the state and beyond, adding that the approach if adopted would give ample opportunities to talented youths in the rural areas, who may have so much to offer the father land, but are usually deniel the chance due to lack of facilities.
He also reiterated that the Rivers youths are expected to perform well in such sprts like wrestling and swimming. He stated that these sports are part of the Rivers culture, and noted that the establishment of more sports complex and the resuscitating of the Isaka Sports Institute would bring life to the core traditional sports in the state.
He thus added that the poor performance in the areas of swimming and wrestling by Rivers youths in particular could be attributed to low level of interest and poor managerial prowess on the part of the administrators.
Nigeria, Zambia Join WAFCON Train
Nine-time Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winners, Nigeria became the final side to book their place at the 2024 tournament as qualifiers culminated this week.
The Super Falcons came from behind to beat Cape Verde 2-1 away from home, with Rasheedat Ajibade’s injury-time winner clinching a 7-1 aggregate victory on Tuesday.
Barbra Banda was among Zambia’s scorers as the Copper Queens, who finished third at last year’s Nations Cup, thrashed Angola 6-0 at home to complete a 12-0 aggregate win.
However, two-time champions Equatorial Guinea will miss out on the 12-team finals following a 2-1 defeat away against DR Congo which saw the hosts progress 3-2 overall.
Botswana beat Kenya 1-0 to secure qualification for their second consecutive finals. while Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia all sealed their places in Morocco, who will host for the second time in a row.
The dates for the tournament, scheduled for next year, are yet to be announced.
Holders South Africa and Algeria secured their spots on Monday, with Banyana Banyana beating Burkina Faso 3-1 on aggregate and the North Africans sealing a 1-0 win in Burundi to progress 6-1 over the two legs.
Ghana will return to the finals for the first time since 2018 despite losing 1-0 away against Namibia, with the Black Queens going through 3-2 on aggregate.
Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia also failed to win their away ties, but progressed against Egypt, Togo and Congo respectively.
Mali won 3-0 away against Guinea to round off a 10-2 victory overall.
Olowu Targets WABU Crown At GOtv Boxing Night 30
Super welterweight boxer, Taiwo ‘Gentle Boy’ Olowu, on Wednesday , said his target is to claim the West African Boxing Union (WABU) super welterweight title at GOtv Boxing Night 30 on December 26.
The enterprising boxer, who is the national welterweight title holder, will square up to top Ghanaian boxer, Michael Ansah, at the event slated for the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
Speaking ahead of the fight, ‘Gentle Boy’ boasted that he would ensure the Ghanaian returned to his country empty-handed.
“I aim to add this West African Boxing Union title to my national title. As a national champion, I cannot allow a foreigner to come and take this belt away in front of my fans. This is a big opportunity for me to be a WABU champion. Ansah will leave Nigeria empty-handed,” he said.
The more experienced Ghanaian boxer has a record of 23 wins, 12 defeats, and three draws from 38 professional fights, while ‘Gentle Boy’ boasts 15 wins and one defeat from his 16 professional fights.
In another title fight, Sifon ‘Best’ Iwatt will battle Saheed Azeez for the national super flyweight title.
Also on the card for the night are five other national fights, including a female national cruiserweight challenge fight between national champion, Bolatito ‘Black Tito’ Oluwole and Blessing Abisoye.
Arabambi Ojo and Ibrahim ‘Golden Boy’ Opeyemi will slug it out in a national bantamweight challenge bout; Abdulafeez ‘Big Name’ Osoba will face Christopher Ucheji in a national super welterweight challenge fight, while Ayanfe Adeoye and Ahmed Ganiyu will duel in a national light welterweight category.
Nigeria Makes Final Team Of The Year Award
Nigeria made the final three shortlists for the 2023 Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Women’s National Team of the Year award.
CAF announced the final three shortlist on their X handle yesterday.
The other two countries are reigning Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions South Africa and Morocco.
Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa featured at this year’s FIFA women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The trio all reached the round of 16 at the tournament, which was won by Spain.
The winner will be announced on Monday, December 11, in Marrakech, Morocco.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Falcons recently qualified for the 2024 WAFCON, hosted by Morocco.
A 7-1 aggregate win against Cape Verde ensured the Falcons will be making their 13th appearance at the tournament, which began in 1998 in Nigeria.
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