Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Ilorin FC and La Planet Sport Academia State, a sport academy based in Kwara, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on exchange of players for developmental purposes.
The signing of the MoU which took place in Ilorin yesterday, attracted sports stakeholders across the state and some business moguls.
In the agreement, La Planet Sport Academia shall be sending players for developmental purposes to ABS Ilorin FC, while it will in return give technical support to its coaches and players.
Also, in the agreement, the ABS Ilorin FC will build a football business relationship with the academy.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Kwara Director of Sports, Tunde Kazeem, said the sports council would continue to give support to persons or groups showing interest in development of athletes, especially at the grassroots.
He described the signing of the MoU as one of the best event in the history of sports in the state and thanked both parties for the initiative.
Speaking after signing of the MoU, ABS Director of Football, Alloy Chukwuemeka, said the club would continue to run professionally and in line with the details and visions of its proprietor, Dr Bukola Saraki.
Chukwuemeka explained that Saraki had directed that the club be run professionally in such a way that other clubs will emulate.
He said that since he joined the team about 10 years ago, he has not relented on that mandate and assured that ABS will continue to develop local players to stardom.
The ABS Director of Football believed that the game is about exceptional talents, hence, the reason for the agreement with La Planet Sport Academia which is responsible for the scouting of players across the nooks and crannies of the state.
He boasted that almost every Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs have at least one ABS player.
In his remarks, the President of La Planet Sport Academia, Shogo Shodunnke, described Chukuemeka as an honest man running ABS in a transparent manner.
He said that it is these traits that informed his decision to partner with ABS, adding that so far, no fewer than 48 players who had participated in the end of the season Pre-season tournament tagged AMAPRO, had turned professional footballers.
Shodunnke said in the shortest period that AMAPRO began a few years ago, he has scouted over 200 players.
The La Planet Sport Academia President, described Kwara as his home, and pledged to give his best to see that the world best football players come from there.
In their separate goodwill messages, Mr Jide Alabi, a banker, said that it was a good development, seeing someone looking at football from the business angle of it.
He said it is high time that Nigeria see sports as an industry, especially football because it is capable of boosting the economy if the right things are done.
Also, Olaide Ahmed, the President of Excel All Stars, an amateur football club in Ilorin, appreciated Shodunke’s love for football at the grassroots.
He commended the management of ABS, for giving young players in the state opportunities to become professionals and earn a living through football.
Ahmed explained that ABS remained the only club in Kwara discovering and promoting players and appealed to the management of Kwara United to emulate the Saraki Boys.
Scholarships Up For Grabs For 10 Winners At MTN Champs
The grand finale of the MTN Champs will commence from today and end on Sunday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja where 10 winners will bag scholarship and financial benefits.
MTN CHAMPS is a program in Nigeria that aims to unearth and foster athletics talent across the country.
It is modeled after the Jamaican High school CHAMPS and is poised to become the primary platform for identifying and nurturing promising athletes who could go on to represent Nigeria in prestigious international competitions such as the Olympics and World Championships.
Before the finals in Abuja, the track and field event was held in three different regions namely: Uyo, Benin and Ibadan where over 7,000 athletes have competed and 42 finalists emerged.
Speaking at the MTN Champs Press Conference held on Wednesday in Abuja, the General Secretary of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Rita Mosindi appealed for the introduction of anti-doping lectures for the young athletes.
“ I want to appeal for the introduction of anti-doping lectures for the kids to educate them on the side effects of taking dope substances.
“These are raw talents that we can manage and nurture them to stardom.
“My advice is to do seminars concerning this just as we have started doing as a federation to reduce doping cases in Nigeria.”
Founder and CEO of Making of Champions (MoC), Bambo Akanni, who is the brain behind the MTN Champs revealed that 10 young athletes from the championship will get special scholarship in the USA and Jamaica.
“MTN Champs involving Secondary School Championship is to discover future Olympians for the country, building youth to excel in sports and academics. This is in line with MTN history of supporting local athletes for global aspirations.
NBPL Final Four: Winning Tournament Excites Rivers Hoopers Player
Rivers Hoopers of Port Harcourt player Effiong Abel has expressed joy for winning the just concluded Nigeria Basketball Premier (NBPL) League Final Four in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the game was not an easy one, adding that they were going through a hard training before the competition.
Effiong disclosed his excitement last Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports shortly after Rivers Hoopers defeated Nigeria Customs basketball team 77-57 in the final game of the four of the NBPL in Port Harcourt.
He stated that it was a team work that saw them through, adding that he was very happy winning the tournament in the front of his fans.
“ I feel very excited today for winning the Nigeria Basketball Premier League Final Four in Port Harcourt.
“ It was not an easy one because of the type of training we were undergoing to ensure we get victory in the tournament.
“I give kudos to my teammates and the coaching crew, they were awesome.
“ Also kudos to the fans, they came out in numbers to support us” Effiong said.
Effiong personally took charge at some point of the game delivering three pointers which eventually created a lee way for a sumptuous finale.
By: Kiadum Edookor
MOC Makes Appeal Over Age Cheats
Organisers of the ongoing school athletics competition, MTN Champs, Making of Champions (MoC), have appealed to all athletes who have participated in the three legs of the championship, as well as their schools, parents, coaches and everyone connected to them to support the body in its efforts to eradicate the systemic age cheating in Nigeria’s athletics by committing to use their real ages at the Abuja grand final and in future.
“MTN has provided a historic opportunity for Nigeria to finally tackle the pressures that our athletes have long faced to cut their ages,” MoC said in a statement made available to news men.
“Never in our nation’s history has there been a nationwide series of championships that has provided three age groups cutting across ages 11 to 19, to give everyone possible opportunity to compete fairly in their own age groups, and we have even relaxed the junior age group from U-20 to U-23.
The grand finale will hold in Abuja from December 1 to 3.
The MoC statement added: “Despite the fact that appropriate age groups have been provided for everyone, we have seen widespread age discrepancies across all three age categories – Cadet (U-14) and Youth (U-17) categories, which are strictly for secondary schools only and juniors (U-20), which is open to all other teenagers.
“For example, we have seen a systematic pattern of an unusually high number of SS2 and SS3 students claiming to be 13 and 14 years old respectively. We have seen athletes who were 14 in 2021 claiming to still be 14 now, 18-year-olds who have finished secondary school already claiming to be 13 so that they can run against the cadets, and we have seen many athletes competing for schools they are not part of and in the wrong age categories as well.
“One of such schools, which was biggest offender in this area, is currently in the process of being disqualified, which will be announced shortly.”
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