President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Habu Ahmed Gumel, at the weekend, at a ceremony to mark this year’s Olympic Day Celebration, joined the rest of the world to call for peace in Nigeria, just as the International Olympics Committee President, Thomas Bach, appealed to member nations to give peace a chance.
Gumel, who spoke at the event to flag off the Celebration held at the National Stadium, Surulere, also highlighted various activities that included, the Olympic Day Run, aerobic exercise, demonstration of sports, and distribution of certificates to participants to mark the occasion.
The NOC president, who read a ‘Message For Olympic Day 2022’ on behalf of the IOC President, said: “When our founder, Pierre de Coubertin, revived the Olympic Games in 1894, he saw it as a way to promote peace among nations and people.
“Always the visionary, he said: ‘Should the institution of the Olympic Games proper, it can become a potent factor in securing universal peace’.
“Therefore, the purpose of the Olympic Movement was always to promote peace through sport.
“This Olympic Day, when we celebrate the creation of the Olympic Movement, is, therefore, the perfect moment to remind ourselves of this peace mission.”
The message added, “Sports always builds bridges and brings people together in peace and solidarity. In these difficult times we are living through, with conflicts and division on the rise, we need this unifying power of sports more than ever before.
“This Olympic spirit guides us as we strive to go faster, aim higher, become stronger, by standing together — for a peaceful world.
“On this Olympic Day, please join us as we call on everyone around the world: ‘Give Peace a Chance’.”
Corroborating Bach’s message, Gumel seized the occasion to also call on every Nigerian to allow peace to reign for everyone to have rest of mind.
“This message was sent to the rest of the world to make sure that this celebration is done properly. My appeal is that we should please let us work together; unite together to bring peace to our country, and to the whole world.
“We need to exercise peace in everything we do so that we can have rest of mind. Because without peace, you cannot have rest of mind. Let us continue to pray to God Almighty for Him to continue to guide us, and protect us, so that whatever we do, it will be in the best interest of our country and ourselves so that everybody can be happy.
“And on behalf of the International Olympic Committee, and Nigeria Olympic Committee, I hereby flag off the Olympic Day, today June 25, 2022; May God bless us,” he stated.
Speaking on the occasion, the Secretary-General of the NOC, Olabanji Oladapo, thanked the IOC boss for sustaining the values of the body, while also commending the participants.
“Sports is an ingredient by all the system and once you get involved in sports, it is sure that you’re fulfilling one of the essentials of health requirement of this world.
“I want to thank the president of IOC for continuing to carry the banner and ensure that Olympic Day is celebrated all over the world. And also want to thank all the participants for taking part in the celebration because, without you, the celebration won’t be a colourful one,” he said.
At the event were dignitaries that included the Lagos State Sports Commission Director of Sports Development, Moses Olusegun Kolawole, Olympian, Henry Amike and others.
NOC Secures Support Scholarship For Four Athletes
After excelling at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where Team Nigeria topped the African medals table, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has changed gear towards ensuring another podium finish by securing scholarships for its athletes for Paris 2024 Olympics.
The NOC has named four latest recipients of ANOCA Athlete Support Progrmme for PARIS 2024, with the athletes all regarded as prospects for the Paris Olympic Games.
President of Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Engr Habu Gumel who is also ANOCA Treasurer- General, announced Enekwechi Chukwuebuka (Athletics), Kolawole Esther Omolayo (Wrestling), Ogbonne Eze Joy(Weightlifting) and Olarinoye Adijat Adenike (Weightlifting) as the recipients.
Gumel said that the funds would support their goal of competing in the Olympic Games.
The four Nigerian athletes are among the 50 athletes chosen by ANOCA as the Commission predicated the allocation process on performance criteria and sports and Olympic ethics.
The ANOCA Athletes’ Support Programme aims to provide support for the preparation and qualification of elite athletes with the potential to qualify and perform well at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Commission recommends that NOCs use part of the grant for their athlete support and preparation activities.
Throwing more light on the ANOCA Athlete Support Programme for Paris 2024, NOC Scribe, Banji Oladapo said: “Chasing an Olympic dream takes incredible determination and talent, these four athletes have all demonstrated they have what it takes. But they also need support to train, compete and maximize their performance opportunities around the world to provide the best opportunity to represent Nigeria at the Paris Games”.
‘NFF Elections Must Hold By Sept 20’
The First Vice President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Seyi Akinwunmi, has said that the Executive Committee must uphold the authority of the NFF Congress that elections be held before the current board’s term expires.
In a three-minute video, the Lagos State Football Association boss declared his position for the staging of the polls in September.
“As you are all aware, there has been a dark cloud of uncertainties surrounding the administration of our football in the past few months.
“I wish to make it abundantly clear that I support the total adherence to the NFF Statutes, the supremacy of the congress and the commitment that NFF elections be held on or before 20 September 2022.
“As a football family, this is yet another time when we are called upon to come together and put football first.”
Akinwunmi, who is reputed for his grassroots football development efforts revealed that the process that would lead to the staging of the polls began with the Annual General Assembly expected to have held yesterday in Lagos.
“In full alignment and agreement with the above, I’m aware that the NFF Statutes is the supreme law for the administration of football in Nigeria, subject of course to any conflict with the laws of Nigeria. By virtue of the NFF Statutes, the annual general assembly as currently constituted is the supreme legislative body for the NFF.
“The General Assembly will consider a roadmap towards this year’s Elective Congress of NFF, as well as such items as may be proposed by the members or members of the Executive Committee”, had said.
Meanwhile, Senator Shehu Sani has challenged Super Eagles legends Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Daniel Amokachi, Segun Odegbami and Tijani Babangida to emulate Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o and contest for the NFF presidency.
“The NFF election is here again. Ex-Nigerian Super Eagles should step forward and take the mantle of football administration.
“Emulate Samuel Eto’o & (Didier) Drogba. Where is Okocha, Nwankwo, Amokachi, Odegbami and Babangida?” he posed.
African U-21 Volleyball: Nigeria Brushes Off Gambia
Nigeria’s U-21 Volleyball team defeated Gambia 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-15) to record its second consecutive win at the ongoing African U-21 Men’s Nation Volleyball Championship in Tunisia.
In the first set, Nigeria won seven service points (29 per cent), 18 receivers’ points (82 per cent), one ace, had four maximum points in a row, four service errors and zero timeouts to record a 25-21 points lead.
Nigeria had a better outing in the second set with 12 service points, 13 receivers’ points, one ace, four maximum points in a row, zero service errors and no timeouts to win by 25-16 points.
In the final set, the Nigerians recorded one ace, five maximum points in a row, one service error, no timeouts, 12 service points and 13 receivers’ points to win 25-15.
Nigeria’s Abdulquadri Jaiyeola recorded 19 points in the match against The Gambia with 13 attacks, three blocks and one ace from service
Speaking after the match, Nigeria’s Head Coach, Sani Mohammed, said the team wants to finish top of the group to stand a chance of qualifying for the semifinals.
“This is a great result for the team; we want to secure all the available points in the group stage. The assistant coach, Suleiman Ajeigbe and I took our time to study The Gambians when they played against Tunisia. The Gambian side is good but we are better.
“The goal is to finish first in Group A and either meet Egypt or Cameroun in the second round. Any of the teams that come our way in the next round will be played with our last drop. The boys are ready to make Nigeria proud and get one of the available tickets to the 2023 FIVB World Championship,” Sani said.
Nigeria faced Tunisia in their last group match.
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