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Under-Performing Sunshine Flickers Blame Astro Turf

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The performance of Sunshine Flickers at the IEI National Hockey League finals was hampered by their unfamiliarity with the astro turf, the team’s assistant coach Biodun Akinyemi has said. 

The inaugural edition of the league which held on the astro turfs of the Abuja National Stadium’s Hockey Complex was concluded at the weekend.

The finals featured six teams/clubs in the women pool, after the Bayelsa Flickers and Lagos state failed to turn up, and eight clubs in the men’s category.

The Akure-based Sunshine Flickers garnered only three points from five matches after three draws and two losses, scoring two goals and conceding six to place seventh and out of title contention.

Akinyemi blamed his team’s performance on the fact that his players were unfamiliar with the astro-turf.

“We came third at the Southern Conference held in Lagos some weeks ago, and that shows that we are good too.

“But we played then on a synthetic turf, and over here we are playing on an astro-turf, which we are unfamiliar with,’’ he told newsmen.

Akinyemi said that apart from the turf, his players had been used to playing on hard ground and could not have mastered the use of the astro-turf in just a few days. 

“This is a faster pitch than what we have been used to, and we were affected by the pitch.

“We couldn’t have done better than this, because we couldn’t prepare for this finals as we would have loved to, due to lack of funds,’’ he said.

The coach said his team could not get the needed funds to prepare and travel for the finals in Abuja.

“We didn’t get the money we asked for, and we managed from the little we have left over from the money used in going for the Lagos competition,’’ he said.

Akinyemi, however, said his team was not giving up the fight for now.

“It is normal that not all teams that have come here will win all their matches, but I am confident that we will get better because we are good and we have been improving with each game.

“I can assure you that there will be changes in our subsequent outings we want to strive to do better and avoid relegation. I am positive about that because we can do it,’’ he said.   

Two of the clubs in the men’s pool of the IEI National Premier Hockey League were relegated to the lower league at the end of the finals.

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Organisers Explain 2021 NSF Postponement

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The 21st edition of National Sports Festival earlier scheduled for November 2 to 15, 2022, in Asaba, Delta State, will now hold from November 28 to December 10, 2022.
According to a statement by the Festival Secretary, Peter Nelson, and addressed to all Commissioners of Sports and Directors of Sports, the postponement was at the request of the host, Delta State.
“I wish to convey the request of Delta State Government to shift the date of the 21st National Sports Festival earlier scheduled to hold from November 2 to 15, 2022.
“It is now shifted to start on November 28 to December 10, 2022.
“The reason for the postponement is to give Delta State more time to complete some of the facilities needed for the festival,” the statement reads.
It will be recalled that the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival held in Benin City, Edo State, which was tagged: “Edo 2020,” also suffered several postponements until it finally held from April 2 to 14.

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Nigeria Must Embrace Grassroots Sports Dev – Amusan

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Women’S 100 metres hurdles world record holder, Tobi Amusan, believes that grassroots development programmes and top-notch training will help the country discover more athletics world champions.
Speaking in Lagos at a dinner organised in her honour by The Plug, an entertainment firm, tagged ‘Tobi Amusan’s Homecoming,’ she blamed the exodus of the Nigeria’s top athletes to other countries to what such nations offer the athletes.
“Grassroots sports development is something we lack here and the reason we often lose our top athletes to other countries of the world.
“From my experience training in the United States, if we can have such development here, we can groom young talents and unearth more Tobi Amusans,” she said.
On the recent ratification of her record by World Athletics, Amusan said: “That my world record was ratified by the world body means that I am drug free and that I am clean. I feel great about it. Every time I am on the track, my eyes are always set on how to win and I execute it by winning.”
She also spoke on the recent reception by the Federal Government, saying, “It is great feeling that we were recognised by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In as much as we did the work, it was an honour that they took into account and they recognised the fact that we did the nation proud. It is such a great feeling getting the national honour.”
She acknowledged the support she got after her world record feat, with her followers on Twitter rising from 3000 to 150,000 under 24 hours, saying it showed that people appreciate what she is doing.
On the criticism by men’s 400 metres world record holder, Michael Johnson, after her record breaking race in Oregon, U.S, Amusan said she was not bothered. “Honestly, I kept doing my thing because after the World Championships, I had other competitions to attend. I don’t dwell on negativity… I look on the bright side of the sport.”
At the event, Flutterwave, which used the occasion to declare it has signed a multi-year partnership deal with Amusan, said: “It is very difficult to find athletes who embody our core values the way Tobi does.”

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YSFON : Academy Coach Begs For Assistance

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The Head coach of the De Kings International Football Academy (DKIFA) of Port Harcourt Okpaleke Chika King is begging the Rivers State ministry of Sports,  private and corporate individuals and all lovers of football for financial support to assist his team represent the state in Youth Sports Federation Of Nigeria (YSFON) competition.
He said that his team was representing Rivers state at the ongoing Chief of Naval Staff National (YSFON) Competition in Ilorin, Kwara State. He said he had written a letter to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals for assistance.
King made the assertion on Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt before leaving for Kwara state.
According to him he had nothing to do than to borrow money for the journey believing that when the State’s Commissioner for Sports sees the letter he would not fail to respond to it.
“ As you can see, my boys are ready for the competition but we lack support.
“ I have written to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals to assist us  but I have not gotten any reply, yet.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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