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NYG: Sports Directors Hail Ministry, Urge Improvement In Screening Standard

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The state directors of sports have commended the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for the successful organisation of the just-concluded 4th National Youth Games (NYG) at the University of Ilorin.
The directors gave the commendation while speaking with the Tidesports source at the end of the Games held from Sept. 7 to Sept. 17 in the ancient city of Ilorin.
Some of the directors, however, called for improvement in the areas of screening and accommodation of athletes in subsequent editions of the games.
Rivers Sports Commission, Director, Ezekiel Ordu, noted that a more scientific method should be employed in ascertaining the age of the athletes.
“There should be an improvement in screening because we should not be talking about ascertaining age through physical examination of the athletes in this age.
“The federal government should get a scientific method to screen the athletes because it will help us in case of protests by disqualified athletes.
“Such measure will help us to ascertain the real age of the athletes instead of having cases of age forgery,” Ordu said.
The Benue Sports Director, Philip Nondo said that the method of screening adopted at the event in Ilorin should be discouraged in subsequent games.
“I congratulate the sports ministry for the organisation of the games.
“No one is perfect; from what we have seen so far, the screening was okay initially by us except for some states that wanted to win medals by all means, and injected athletes that are ineligible to take part in the competition.
“They should stop discouraging the younger ones as the first screening was perfect, but the re-screening was what spoilt the whole exercise.
“So, if you give people some work to do, allow them to do so without interference,” Nondo said.
General Manager, Ekiti Sports Council, Deji Shawon, advised the organisers to fine-tune the accreditation and accommodation arrangements in subsequent games.
“We ought to have a system to be able to register childbirth so that we don’t always have cases of age cheats.
“There were so many fake birth certificates presented; so, the system should be upgraded so that when we have children right away from birth, they will be registered and won’t have to go through the nitty-gritty such as this.
“There is need to improve on accommodation because these are young children from good homes, sleeping on good beds and from good environment at home.
“For them to come here and sleep anyhow isn’t encouraging; it is something that can be improved upon.
“So, when we come for the next edition, most of these things will be put right.
“There is also the need to improve on feeding because putting little accompaniments on food isn’t the best,” Shawon said.
On his part, Director of Sports in Niger, Baba Sheshi, said that the hostels should be renovated before the next edition of the games.
“Even the children have derive maximum satisfaction from the games, and this will go a long way in uniting us.
“But, there is room for improvement in terms of logistics and accommodation though we were told that the university management was ready to start the renovation of the hostels to be used for the just-concluded event.”

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Ghana Legend Names Okocha Africa’s Best

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Ghana star, Mohammed Kudus has named Nigerian legend Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha as his greatest African footballer of all time, drawing parallels between Okocha’s style of play and his own.
Kudus, currently plying his trade with West Ham United, praised Okocha for his exceptional skills and entertainment value on the pitch.
Okocha’s illustrious career includes numerous achievements such as winning the Goal of the Year award in Germany in 1993, multiple Nigerian Footballer of the Year titles, and being named the BBC African Footballer of the Year twice.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Kudus expressed his admiration for Okocha, emphasising the lasting impact of his creative flair and ability to entertain fans. He highlighted Okocha’s unique style of play as a source of inspiration for him as a young footballer.
”I will say Jay Jay Okocha. I will say explaining from my lens how I see creative players and entertain. That can never be washed away and the fans can never forget that,” Kudus told our source.
Despite joining West Ham United last summer, Kudus has quickly established himself as a crucial player for David Moyes’ side.
With stellar performances throughout the season, Kudus has garnered attention for his impressive contributions on the pitch. In his debut season, the midfielder has netted an impressive 13 goals in 38 appearances, solidifying his role as a key player for the club.

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HFN Sets Deadline For League Registration  

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The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) have called on teams that will participate in the Ardova Handball Premier League 2024 to complete all documentary registration on or before May 4, 2024.
The Ardova Handball Premier League 2024 kick off with phase 1 to hold in Benin City, Edo State from May 12th to the 25th , 2024 and the HFN said all teams must document all their registration regarding player registrations, loans and transfers as soon as the 4th of May 2024 according to a statement addressed the officials of the twenty two participating teams by the Secretary General of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) Mr. Almu Umar Lambu.
“A total of 25 players and 4 officials shall be registered for the Season as there shall be no more registration in the Second Phase and all participating clubs should note that documentary registration of players, transfers and loans shall be completed on or before 4th May, 2024.” Mr. Lambu said.
Mr. Lambu also revealed that the HFN will hold an anti-doping seminar for players and officials during the course of the first phase of the Ardova Handball Premier League 2024 in Benin City, Edo State.
“Also Clubs should note that there will be Anti-Doping Seminar during the league to be organised by the HFN Medical and Anti-Doping Commission” Mr. Lambu concludes.
The top tier Handball league which is the biggest handball event in Nigeria, was to begin on April 28 through to May 11, 2024 but has now being shifted by two weeks by the Handball Federation of Nigeria for effective preparation in tandem with the sponsor Ardova PLC and will now hold from May 12 to 25, 2024.
Teams are expected to arrive Benin City on May 12, 2024 while hostilities will then begin the next day, May 13 through to May 24, 2024. Departure is May 25, 2024.

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Athletics: Ofili, Nathaniel Qualify For Paris Olympics

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Favour Ofili and Ezekiel Nathaniel have booked their places to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Ofili won the women’s 200-meter event in day one of the Tom Jones Invitational on Friday, hosted by Florida at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville.
The Port Harcourt, Nigeria, native blazed out of the blocks and clocked an event-winning time and No. 4 time in the world of 22.33 seconds (+1.4 m/s).
She defeated Anavia Battle who came through in 22.56s and Ida Karstoft in a new National Record of 22.60s
Her time dips under the Paris 2024 Olympics’ standard of 22.57 seconds, punching her ticket to the Olympics in her first season after turning pro.
It is her fastest time outdoors since 2022 where she set the Nigerian National Record of 21.96s the same year.
Nathaniel on his part shattered the Nigerian 400m Record at the Tom Jones Invitational, running a brilliant 48.29s.
The feat has seen Nathaniel automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, surpassing the Olympic standard by almost half a second.
Chris Robinson of the United States won in a time of 47.95s ahead of Clement Ducos, who ran 48.26s.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s High Jump event, Nigeria’s Erhire Best won clearing a Season’s Best (SB) of 2.21m.
He defeated Riyon Rankin on countback, having needed just one attempt to clear the winning mark while Rankin took three tries. BJ Jennings was 3rd with 2.13m.

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