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Minister Lauds Wrestling Team Over Performance, Madals

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The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has lauded the Daniel Igali-led Nigerian Wrestling Federation following the exceptional performance of Nigerian athletes at the African Senior Wrestling Championship taking place in Alexandria, Egypt. The wrestlers have continued to showcase talents and determination, after securing a plethora of medals to continue their stellar form displayed at the African Games in Accra.
In a statement, Senator Enoh expressed profound admiration for the leadership of the Federation, as well as the exemplary dedication of the athletes and officials currently competing for honours in Egypt. He hailed their achievements as awe-inspiring and emphasised their significance in the annals of Nigerian sports history.
After six gold medals and a number of silver and bronze medals at the African Games in Ghana, the good run has not stopped.Christianah Ogunsanya exhibited sheer dominance, overpowering Chahrazed Ayachi of Tunisia with a superiority score of 10-0 to claim the gold medal in the 53kg category. Odunayo Adekuoroye, a force to be reckoned with, secured her 8th African title in the 57kg class by pinning Chaimaa Aouissi of Egypt. Kolawale Esther showcased her prowess by overwhelming Farah Hussein of Egypt with a commanding 11-0 victory, clinching her second African senior title in the 62kg category. Blessing Oborududu, an icon in the sport, triumphed over Osman Badran of Egypt with a resounding 12-2 superiority decision, earning her 14th African crown in the 68kg division. Despite a gallant effort, Hannah Reuben secured the silver medal in the 76kg category after a hard-fought battle with Zainab Sghair.
Senator Enoh was full of praise for the team led by Coach Purity Akuh, as well as the Federation’s leadership.
“In dominating two continental events in two weeks, the Nigerian Wrestling team has demonstrated extraordinary dedication and unmatched abilities,” remarked Senator Enoh. “Their remarkable achievements not only bring pride to our nation but also serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes across the country.”
“The Nigerian Wrestling Federation continues to shine as a beacon of excellence, and their triumphs on the continental stage make us all proud as Nigerians.”
Enoh emphasised the pivotal role of the Federation in showcasing Nigeria’s sporting prowess on the international stage, highlighting their contribution to the nation’s sporting legacy.

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Expert Wants Parents To Enroll Children In Vector Programme

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In a bid to have more young talented Nigerians to play professional football abroad, Johnny Ogbah, a sports lawyer and football intermediary, has called on parents to enroll their children in Vector Programme.
He stated that the programme is in conjunction with Conventry Football Club in United Kingdom (UK), saying that the programme includes academics where a child can acquire a degree.
Ogbah, made the call while addressing sports journalists recently in Port Harcourt, as the programme will admit students into Brooke College between the age of 11 and 18 Football Academy.
The major objective of Vector Programme is to give the young ones a career through sports and good education. The programme does not train people on football only but also other things that is related to sporting environment, he said.
According to him,  more than 20 Nigerians have benefited from the programme on scholarship and most of them are now playing football in top clubs in Europe.
“Vector programme was poised to create an avenue to give people to play football to the highest level.
Apart from football the child can also have quality education. It will interest you to know that those in Vector programme play friendly games that attracts scouts from different countries and football clubs.
The programme doesn’t train you on only football but also train people on everything that is associated to sports”, Ogbah said.
The former Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) player further disclosed Vector programme pathways provides the practice opportunities that players need if they are to successfully graduate as a professional player.

By: Tonye Orabere

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NLO: Khana FC Coach Blames Players For Missing Chances

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The Head Coach of Khana FC in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Sam Ledor, has blamed his players as they were unable to convert scoring chances.
According to him, if those chances created in their opening match against Jet Bomber FC at the ongoing Nation wide League One (NLO), in Omoku centre were  converted, it  would have given them victory.
Ledor, said this on Saturday in a chat with Tidesports shortly after they played goalless draw against Jet Bomber FC in their opening match in 2024 NLO Division in Omoku, Rivers State.
“ We created a lot of scoring chances but could not find the net”, he said.
He explained that playing goalless draw is not a bad result in football but in a competition like this, they need to score goals and win matches.
“ My brother, we missed a lot of scoring chances which is not good. I trainned my players  on how to create chances and to convert them.
“ What is important in a competition is winning but as we did not lose the game,  we will look forward for our next game.
“We will go back to the drawing board and correct the grey areas in our game and ensure we get better results in our next outing.
“Today’s game is gone, what we need to do is to make sure we win our next game,” he stated.
He pointed out that no game comes easy but the effort you put in will give good result. They tried their best today and the result was good for both teams but we need to win our next game.
“My opponents were also  a good side; they tried all what they could but didn’t score also. It was a good game but my team needs to win games,” he added.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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Wilkins Backs Rivers Hoopers To Spring Surprises At 2024 BAL

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A French-American, John Walter Wilkins is confident Rivers Hoopers can make it to the playoff round of the 2024 Basketball Africa League (BAL).
Wilkins, who is the son of former NBA player Jeff Wilkins, linked up with his Hoopers teammates at the team’s training camp in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, ahead of the 2024 BAL Savannah Conference games, which tip off on Saturday, 4th May, 2024, in Dakar, Senegal.
Wilkins is no stranger to African basketball, having played for Moroccan sides AS Salé (2015-2016) and Ittihad Tanger (2017-2019), before leading Stade Malien to a third-place finish at BAL 2023.
Looking ahead to the 2024 BAL, Wilkins says the quality of basketball across Africa has improved, with the BAL requiring a high level of competitiveness, but backed Rivers Hoopers to spring a surprise at the tournament.
“It’s a really high level, a great competition; [it’s] one of the best I’ve played in since I’ve been in Africa. But we don’t need to be scared. We need to just attack the moment, be there, be present, and I think if we are confident in our abilities, we can surprise people,” he said.
Since its inaugural season in 2021, Nigerian teams have appeared twice at the BAL, with Rivers Hoopers playing in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2021 and Kwara Falcons featuring at BAL 2023.
Despite failing to reach the playoffs on both previous occasions, Wilkins is optimistic that with the quality of players in the Hoopers squad as well as the recruitment done ahead of the BAL, Rivers Hoopers will be more competitive in this season’s BAL.
“I’m really optimistic. I know that those past years the teams from Nigeria didn’t do well, but I think with me, Kelvin [Amayo], Will [Perry], and the other guys, I think we can show the way, have some wins, and be more competitive,” he stated.
The Nigerian Champions were drawn in the Savannah Conference alongside former BAL Champions US Monastir (Tunisia), last year’s runners-up AS Douanes (Senegal), and APR (Rwanda).

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