Stakeholders Excited As Wike Unveils PH Real Madrid Academy, ’Morrow
Port Harcourt Real Madrid Football Academy will officially be the commissioned tomorrow, by Honourable minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare.
The academy was initiated and completed by the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, in partnership with Real Madrid Football Club, in Spain, with the view to develop and promote grassroots football in Nigeria.
It is worthy to note that academy will run normal the school calendar, vacation and other sporting activities, apart from football.
Speaking to some stake holders, the President of Mauythai Federation of Nigeria (MFN), Comrade Paul Egonu, rated the academy high, saying that the project is laudable.
He noted that the facilities being used for the project were world class standard, both the hostels and classrooms were real conducive learning environment.
According to him, for the academy to be sustained after this administration, the state House of Assembly should pass into law for its funding and maintenance.
“I want to advise Rivers people not to see this project as Wike project; they should rather see it as Rivers State Government project.
Board constituted to run the affairs of the academy, there should be yearly budget for it, so that issue of funds will not crumble the academy, after this government,” Egonu said.
The proprietor of Blessed Soccer Football Academy, Blessed Ogbonda, also commended the state governor, Nyesom Wike, for the vision to promote grassroots football.
He noted the academy was first of its kind in this part of the world, saying that what interests him more is the combination of football and academics.
“Honestly, I must say that the project is one of the best in the world. It has given hope to the grassroots coaches,” Ogbonda said.
Before now, the Technical Adviser of Super Eagles, Gernort Rohr, had also scored the infrastructure of Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt high.
He stated that what captured his interest most was the combination of normal school curriculum and football.
He further stated that what he saw could be compared to the best football academies in Europe.
“The infrastructure are very high, they are like the best ones in Europe, like Spain, Barcelona and Valencia football academies. In Germany, we have Bayern Munich football academy. We also have in France,” Rohr said.
The technical adviser explained that football academies has produced some prominent players like Paul Pogba and the rest.
He commended Rivers State governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike for doing a great job.
Also, Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on the Academy, Barrister Christopher Green, said, that he was not in doubt that the institution would produce the best next generation of athletes in the country.
“At the moment, even before the formal invitation for application, the academy has received over 6,000 applications and still counting. This goes to show the quality of the facility the state government has put on ground and how the people have perceived it”, said Barr Green.
The academy project was conceived by Governor Nyesom Wike a little over a year ago and has been built with the technical partnership of Real Madrid Football Club, Spain, with a view to developing football talents and the youths in the state and Nigeria at large.
According to Green, the management of the academy has got one of the best recruitment agents in the world and the teaching model would be different from the usual.
“The Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has passion for football and we are going to combine the game and academics.
It is not our doing, but the Almighty God led Governor Wike to give this to Rivers people and Nigeria in general.
Wike is a miracle worker, not everybody gave him or us a chance, but today we are all living witnesses to what is happening.
I also believe that the next generation of very good athletes would come out of here.
We have gotten one of the best recruitment agents, the teachers and instructors would use different model from others to teach, so that it will be easier to understand,” Barrister Green said.
He explained that the academy will run normal school calendar for six years’ programme, adding that the important aspect of the academy is that, if anyone could not cope in the sporting area, the person can have vocation training in other areas like, electrical, automobile, Telecom and other departments.
Stories by: Tonye Orabere
‘Nigerian Football Suffering From Eight Years Of Neglect’
The President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Ladipo, has strongly lamented the low state of Nigeria football. The man who has led Nigerian football supporters to different countries in the last two decades says the drop in overall performance is a result of the ground the country lost in the last eight years.
Ladipo said, “We actually had eight underutilized years with the last administration. We achieved far less than we should have done because the man who was in charge focused more on himself and aesthetics than proper development of football in Nigeria. Rather than build up the system we focused too much on elections and people getting into international offices.”
Ladipo who lamented on the backdrop of the Flying Eagles performance in Egypt said the lack of growth pattern is now showing in our teams and clubs on the continent.
“Did you see how we lost to The Gambians? That is just a sign. Are we ever sure of the Super Falcons anymore? Did the Super Eagles qualify for the last World Cup? No is the answer.”
“I am not saying that a country like Gambia cannot beat Nigeria but it did not bring shock this time because the slide has been steady.
We have declined so much. How many games have the Falcons won of their last 10 matches? Did we qualify for CHAN? How many of our clubs can stand firm on the continent today like Enyimba used to do not too long ago? Now compare our performance in the last four years with countries like Senegal and Morocco. We are running in the opposite direction. We are dropping while they are going up. What did we get other than dividing the supporters club instead of facing football development?
Amusan Clinches Silverbird Sports Personality Award
World record holder and Adidas track athlete, Tobi Amusan has emerged the winner of the Silverbird TV 2022 Sports Personality of the Year.
The world champion clinched the award at the 2022 Silverbird Man of The Year which held at the Eko Hotel and suits, Lagos.
Lanre Vigo, the co-founder of Plug Sports, the sporting division of The Plug Entertainment, who received the award on her behalf, shared the news via his Instagram handle.
“Congratulations @ihurdle_33.0inches on being awarded as the @silverbirdtv sports personality of the year,” he wrote on Instagram.
“I’m honoured to receive this award on your behalf and to say a few words. Honestly @ihurdle_33.0inches I wish you were here to receive all these awards in person and feel the love Nigerians have for you,” he added.
Vigo, in his acceptance speech at the event noted that his key resolve was to encourage both the private sector and the government to invest more in athletes as there are many Tobi Amusan’s out there waiting to be discovered.
“There are a lot of talented sports people in Nigeria, and I feel like if the government and private sector invests more in these people, we will have more superstars in Nigeria.
“So I’m encouraging everyone to please support Tobi Amusan on this quest or possibly find the next Tobi Amusan,” Vigo said.
Amusan became Nigeria’s first World champion and World Record holder at the World Championships in Oregon, where she won the 100m Hurdles titles in WR times of 12.12s in the semifinals and a wind-assisted 12.06s in the final.
She also successfully defended her Commonwealth Games and Diamond League titles, clocking record-breaking times of 12.30s and 12.29s respectively.
Her 12.30s time was also a new record at the Games.
With this accomplishment, the 25 year-old Amusan is the first World Champion to win Gold in the event and the first Nigerian athlete to be crowned champion at all levels of athletics in the same year.
She beat Jamaican duo Danielle Williams, Megan Tapper, England’s Cindy Sembre, Michelle Jenneke of Australia, and Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas.
Betking Partner Ikorodu City Football
Betking has signed a partnership agreement with Ikorodu City Football Club (FC) as a way to encourage sports development at the grassroots level.
The leading sports betting and digital entertainment firm, which made the announcement at a media briefing in Lagos, said the partnership is an effort to reaffirm the brand’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of local sports in communities within Nigeria.
It said that the collaboration would support the club’s plans to become the leading team and compete with their peers nationally, added that it will also provide capacity building for the players and an opportunity for them to reach their full potential, thereby contributing to the advancement of grassroots sports in the country.
Commenting on the alliance, Managing Director, King Makers, Gossy Ukanwoke, said: “We are committed to sports development and driving the growth of grassroots football here in Nigeria. Our commitment is expressed in this partnership with Ikorodu City FC.
“We’re happy to be backing a team that wins, which is one of our ethos as a company, we are winners and kings and hope that Ikorodu City FC will also become kings. With this partnership, we will work closely together to build future stars and create opportunities to grow and make a difference.”
He added: “By extension, the company will continue to invest in local sports development, youth empowerment, health, education, and other initiatives that improve the socio-economic well-being of individuals and communities.”
Also speaking on the teamwork, Vice President, Ikorodu CityFC, Adeyemi Doherty, said, “I want to sincerely thank BetKing for partnering with us. What they have done is laudable, and we hope other organisations take a cue from them.
“This partnership will not only contribute to sports talent development, but open doors for national exposure. As you invest and build confidence in us, we will be as transparent and honest as possible. We are pleased with this partnership and look forward to its continuity.”
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