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NDDC U17 Cup: Donastars FC Emerges Winners …Bayelsa To Host Next Edition

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The second edition of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) U17 Peace Cup football competition has come to an end at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, with Donastars Football Club of Abia State emerging champions of the annual tournament in a dramatic fashion, last Sunday.
Donastars FC came from two goals down to level up the game, with the second goal coming few minutes to stoppage time, and then went on to prevail with six-five on penalties against El-Godz Football Club, in a frenzy Abia-derby final, filled with determination and dexterity from both sides.
In the third place match played earlier, Campus Football Club of Imo State, defeated Ine Stars of Edo State by one goal to nil to finish as the third best team of the competition, thereby, following the footsteps of another Imo team, Sam Decent Academy, which finished in third position at the first edition held in Akwa Ibom state last year.
At the end of the second edition of the NDDC U17 Peace Cup, the winners, Donastars FC were awarded five million naira for emerging as champions of the competition, El-Godz FC will get three million naira for finishing second, while Campus FC will go home with two million naira as the third best team.
The Most Valuable Player of the tournament went to the captain of Campus FC of Imo, Chukwuemeka Prince, who eventually was the youngest captain at the competition, Jida Justice of Ine Stars, Edo State, won the Highest Goalscorer award, after ending the tourney as joint top scorer with seven goals, but was awarded for scoring first, ahead of Odoemena Pope of El-Godz FC of Abia, who was also presented with a medal for his heroics.
Shotstopper, Solomon Agoziem of Campus FC of Imo won the Best Goalkeeper of the tournament, with Kifa FC of Ondo emerging as the Best Behave Team, while the youngest player of the tournament went to Cyril Eta, of Safe Side FC of Cross River, who is aged 11 years.

Presenting the trophy to the winners of the competition, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Hon. Umana O. Umana, once again commended the Grassroot Sports Federation of Nigeria GRASOF, for initiating the tourney, and the Delta State Government for providing an enabling environment for the success of the competition.

The Minister who was represented by Mr Matthew Pukuma James, said, “the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is indeed privileged to be part of this tournament which provided an opportunity for young lads to display their talents to the world. The football tournament will not only have players develop on their individual skills but would entrench the importance of teamwork and the spirit of sportsmanship. These traits, incidentally, are in line with the theme of the tournament which is Peace.”

Ex- Internationals – Christian Obodo, Sam Sodje, and Baldwin Bazuaye, were at the grand finale, where they presented medals and trophies to the winning teams, as well as the individual players that won honours in different categories.

Tournament Coordinator and President of the Grassroot Sports Federation of Nigeria, GRASOF, Hon. John Ekpenyong, announced Bayelsa State as the next host of the football competition, which comes up tentatively in December, 2023.

This year’s competition recorded a total of ninety four (94) goals scored, with El-Godz FC of Abia scoring thirteen goals throughout the competition, followed by Donastars FC, with eleven goals, while Ine Stars of Edo State finished the tournament with seven goals.

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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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