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C’River Hires Foreign Coaches For Athletics, Boxing

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Cross River State Government has recruited nine foreign coaches to help in the development of athletics and boxing in the state, the Youth and Sports Development Commissioner Raymond Obeten has said.
Four of the coaches, who are from Jamaica, according to the commissioner, will be in the state for a short period, during which they will train local coaches and games masters in both sports.
He said that the coaches would also organise seminars and workshops in the three senatorial districts in the state “to create awareness for both sports in the grassroots where we have a lot of talents’’.
Obeten told newsmen on Wednesday in Calabar that the remaining five coaches had signed a contract of “some years” and would be resident in the state to train athletes.
He said that the coaches had all arrived, adding that their coming was the outcome of his recent foreign trip to seek technical assistance in the development of sports in the state.
“We have 25 sports we are involved in, and we have planned a phased development programme for each of them and right now, we are starting with athletics and boxing.
“As we progress, we will embrace the other sports”, the commissioner added.
He expressed optimism that with the foreign coaches, the state would do well in the national sports festival coming up later in the year, in Rivers.
“Besides, a good foundation, right from the grassroots, will be laid for athletics and boxing in the state,’’ he said.
The commissioner also announced that a new stadium would soon be constructed in either Ogoja or Ikom.
He said that the funds for the construction of the two stadia had been provided for in the 2010 budget.

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D’Tigress’ Onyemere Celebrates X Billboard Appearance

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Stunning Nigeria D’Tigress forward, Michaela Onyemere recently celebrated her appearance on the X (Twitter) billboard campaign, describing it as a dream come true.
The Chicago Sky player, who is part of the D’Tigress roster for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, shared her excitement on Instagram, advising her fans not to give up their dream but to work towards their realisation.
She wrote, “If you tweet it, you can be it. I am so honoured to be a part of this Twitter billboard campaign alongside so many other influential people. Chase your dreams to the fullest extent, no matter how crazy people think you might be. I was 13 when I tweeted this, and eight years later, here we are! If you can believe it, I promise you can be it. Dream big always.”
According to her, the billboards are located in New York at 7th Ave and 49th Street, 42nd Street and 8th Ave, Times Square, Bryant Park Subway Station, and newsstands throughout Midtown; San Francisco in Kearney WS and Montgomery Muni Station; Los Angeles in the Hollywood Roosevelt and Sepulveda WS.
Onyemwere was selected sixth overall in the first round of the 2021 WNBA Draft, and she got off to a flying start with the New York Liberty; her average of 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, plus 37 three-pointers made, was the highest among all rookies in her class.

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OlympAfrica Chess Competition Holds In PH …Boy Six Performs Excellently

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OlympAfrica University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT)  Centre recently held Schools Chess Competition, at Professor Ken Anugweje building UNIPORT Sports complex.
The competition was between some selected primary and secondary schools in Rivers State, which attracted huge attendance , including some professional Chess players.
The Director of OlympAfrica UNIPORT centre in Nigeria, Dr. Chukwuemeka Agi in different fora has said the purpose of the competition was to help children build their career and encourage them.
“The reason why OlympAfrica organise various sporting tournaments and competitions was to assist the young ones build their career in any sport.
“You know is better we catch them young and direct their footsteps to enable them become useful to themselves and the nation”, Dr. Agi said.
Speaking with Victor Ayanwale,  the youngest player age six, in the competition, from King Amachree Sports Academy, in Harry’s Town, Rivers State, said his dream was to become one of the best Chess players in the world.
According to him, he started playing Chess at the age of five, mentored by his father, saying that he enjoys playing the game as it helps him to reason help.
“ I  started playing Chess at the age of five, it was my father that was teaching me. I want to become number in one Chess in this country.
“I enjoy playing Chess because it makes me happy and think well. I want other children to play Chess because it is good”, Ayanwale said.
Highlight of the event was presentation of medals, certificates and trophies to winners.

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Female Athletes Are Nigeria’s Olympic Hopefuls – NOC 

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The Secretary-General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Tunde Popoola, has said that Nigeria’s medal hopes at the Paris Olympics largely rest on female athletes such as Tobi Amusan and Ese Brume.
Despite participating in the Olympics since 1952, Nigeria has only secured a total of 27 medals, including just two gold medals, both won in 1996 in Atlanta.
This remains the country’s most successful outing, with Chioma Ajunwa winning gold in the women’s long jump and the football team, led by Kanu Nwankwo, clinching the second at the expense of super powers Argentia and Brazil.
“The men dominated previously, but this time, it’s all about the women. They qualified for the football event and almost every single event in athletics. It’s a good thing, and we appreciate their growth,” he said in an interview with Tidesports source.
“The women have done more because they are more committed. I’m not saying the men aren’t, but women are more dedicated, and that’s the reason they are doing well.”
Ajunwa’s achievement in 1996 stands out as Nigeria’s only individual Olympic gold medal, highlighting the persistent trend of Nigeria’s female athletes consistently outperforming their male counterparts.
This trend continued at the 2000 Sydney Games, where Gloria Alozie secured a silver medal in the women’s 110-metre hurdles, salvaging Nigeria’s presence on the podium.
In the most recent Tokyo Games, Team Nigeria won two medals, both from women: Brume, who claimed bronze in the women’s long jump, and Blessing Oborududu, who won silver in wrestling.
With the Paris Games only weeks away, it appears hopes are once again pinned on the women to bring home medals.
Nigeria’s female athletes are world-class, while many of their male counterparts, particularly in athletics, are less experienced.
Taiwo Popoola, Vice President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, echoed these sentiments, attributing the women’s success to their dedication.
“The women have done more because they are more committed. I’m not saying the men aren’t, but women are more dedicated, and that’s the reason they are doing well,” he said.
To put the NTF VP’s statement in perspective, Elizabeth Anyanacho, another female athlete, is the only qualified taekwondoist for the Paris Olympics. She was also Nigeria’s only representative in the sport at Tokyo 2022.
Nigeria’s medal hopes in Paris largely rest on the shoulders of athletes like Tobi Amusan, Brume, wrestlers Oborududu, and Odunayo Adekuruoye.
Amusan, in particular, is a standout athlete. She set a world record time of 12.40 seconds in the women’s hurdles in Kingston, Jamaica, in May 2024.

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