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Rivers Angels Charged To Conquer Africa

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Rivers Angels Football Club of Port Harcourt, now christened Rivers Angels International FC has been charged to go and not only pick a ticket for the maiden edition of CAF Women’s Champions League proper in the imminent qualifying series in Cote D’Ivoire, but go all the way to the title in the main event in Egypt. Players of the team were assured that victory in the continental championship would not only be glorious to Rivers state and Nigeria, but an opportunity to change their lives through the magnanimity of their number one supporter and sports loving Governor of the state, Chief Nyesom Wike.
All these unfolded at the sent- forth ceremony of the team to the Champions League qualifiers organised by the Rivers State Ministry of Sports last Wednesday before they jetted out to Abidjan.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Special Guest of Honour and state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Amb. Desmond Akawor told the team that their movement to fly the flag of the state and country at the championship is historic and an opportunity to taste the large heartedness of Governor Wike, once they return with laurels. “You have a sports loving Governor that would change your lives if you win. Please do not disappoint the state, do not disappoint the Governor, do not disappoint the Ministry of Sports that have worked very hard for you”, he charged the team.
He went ahead to promise the team, on behalf of PDP, the sum of one million naira for each goal scored in Abidjan and the chances of becoming landladies if they win the title.
Earlier, the Sports Commissioner, Hon Boma Iyaye, while admonishing the team said that the ceremony was organised to make the team realize that it is carrying the banner of millions of Rivers people and Nigerians. He stated that all that the team needed to excel at the tournament had been provided by the sports loving governor, thus, Iyaye declared that there would be no excuse for failure. “The only thing you can do now to reciprocate the gesture of the state is to qualify in Abidjan and win in Egypt. We want to conquer Africa, you are not going to Cote d’Ivoire for jamboree, you are going for serious business. There would be nothing like second best, we’re the best and would continue to keep the standard. Go to Abidjan, qualify, then go to Egypt and conquer Africa”, Iyaye charged the team
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to Governor Wike on Real Madrid Academy and Chairman, Rivers State Football Association, Barr. Christopher Green urged the team to go to the tourney to hustle, demonstrate desire to work as a team in order to achieve victory. He restated that the competition is one opportunity made by God for the players to change their lives for good.
The Permanent Secretary, ministry of Sports, Sir Honour Sirawoo on his part noted that the Angels, serial winners in the domestic scene are the first women’s team to represent Nigeria on the continent, which is a testimony to the passion and commitment being demonstrated by Governor Wike in all spheres of life in the state, particularly, sports.
He described Rivers Angels as one of the State’s projects, where the governor, Mr Projects has shown commendable commitment and expressed hope that as the team was being sent-forth uniquely, they would be celebrated on return.
General Manager of the team, Mrs Matilda Otuene-Onyiloha was effusive in her appreciation of the welfare package arranged for them and promised that they would not disappoint.
Rivers Angels qualified for the maiden Africa Women’s champions League appearance after winning the Super-Six Play-off of the league. They will play their first game in Abidjan tomorrow against Hasaacas of Ghana.

By: Gabriel Nwanetanya

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Okowa Lauds Athletes Ahead Olympics Trials

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President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Tonobok Okowa, has once again mandated all athletes looking to represent the country at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to attend the Nigerian Trials, which hold from June 16 to 18 inside the main bowl of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin-City.
Making his stance clear in Monday’s release by the athletics body, Okowa commended the athletes for their determination to qualify for the Olympics.
He said, “The athletes have shown commitment, determination, and desire to succeed in their careers by picking Olympic qualifications. They deserve our collective appreciation.”
He added, “The athletes would be picked in accordance with their performances at the trials because it would largely determine who goes to Paris for the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli, says the state is waiting to welcome athletes for the trials.
He said, “We are the hosts of the national trials, and athletes and spectators are welcome.”
The trials are expected to throw up the best of Nigeria’s athletes based at home and abroad for the Olympic Games in Paris in July.

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Emerging Star Eyes Olympics Place For Nigeria

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Nigerian track and field star, Favour Ofili, has set her sights on the upcoming national Olympics trials after she pulled off a stunning victory in the women’s 100m at the New York Grand Prix, defeating a stellar field that included Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica last Sunday.
The 21-year-old clocked a season-best 11.18secs to take the win, America’s Morolake Akinosun was second in 11.20secs while her compatriot Aleia Hobbs ended in third place in 11.21secs.Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo Olympics 100m and 200m gold medalist, could only manage ninth place in 11.48secs as she continues to search for her best form this season.
“Just like practice, stay calm and just go, finish your transition because that’s the issue, and whatever happens will happen. I wanted to get the standard here and I give God glory for the win,” Ofili told Tidesports source after the race.
“For the trials, stay calm and just do what I know how to do, go back and do some training before I go back home for the national trials.”
The Olympic trials are scheduled to hold in Benin City, Edo State from June 16 to 18. The trials will serve as the selection of the nation’s athletes for both the Senior Africa Athletics Championships, holding between June 21 and 28 in Douala, Cameroon and the Paris 2024 Olympics, which hold from July 26 to August 11.

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Olympic Day Celebrations Hold June 29

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The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), at the weekend, said the annual Olympic Day celebrations would be held on June 29 across the country.
The Olympic Day is a global event that commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Movement, founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894.
Speaking with news men, the Secretary-General of the NOC, Babatunde Popoola, said this year’s celebration holds special significance as it precedes the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
It’s where Nigerian athletes will compete and inspire the world with their achievements.
“Olympic Day is a chance for people of all ages and abilities to experience the magic of the Olympic Games in their own communities.
“It is an ideal platform to highlight the benefits of physical activity and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect,” Popoola said.
Popoola said that NOC had received positive responses from various states and stakeholders, and preparations were well underway for the nationwide celebration.
He added that no fewer than 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory have indicated their plans to organise activities for the event.
The states are: Abia; Anambra; Bayelsa; Delta; Edo; Enugu; Ebonyi; Lagos; Kogi; Gombe; Jigawa; Kebbi; Kano; Kwara; Taraba; Imo; Ondo; Plateau; Rivers; Nasarawa and Osun
Also speaking, the Chairman of the NOC Sport For All Commission, Abdul Ibrahim, said that Olympic Day was a special day to come together, move together, and learn about the Olympic values.
“We encourage everyone to participate and experience the joy that only sport can bring,” he said.
According to him, a series of activities have been lined up in Lagos, with fitness clubs at the National Stadium Complex and the general public gearing up to take part in the global event.
“The celebration will conclude with the presentation of diplomas signed by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach.
The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel and other dignitaries will officially flag off the event in Abuja,” he added.

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