Some sports enthusiasts in Gombe State have called on the state government to prioritise sports development as a tool to engage youths and combat drug abuse.
They made the appeal while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency in Gombe on Tuesday.
Usman Yakubu, said: “ The state government should shift attention to sports as a way of cutting down the high rate of drug abuse.
“Sports whether football, basketball or even taekwondo have the capacity to engage the youth and when such happens, there will be less youths to abuse drugs.
“Since no sport supports the use of drugs, that makes sports the best tool to fight the menace of drug abuse. Gov. Inuwa Yahaya has proven to be a listening governor; hence we are appealing to him.”
Barkuwa Kalla, Gombe-based sports analyst, while appealing to the government to use sports as a tool for youth employment, said the sector had the capacity to take millions of youths off the street through meaningful engagement.
Kalla appealed to the state government to set up a special committee to assess the sector with a view to bringing out the potential that sports hold in development and youth reformation.
“A lot of committee have been set up in various sectors to address issues but unfortunately nothing of such has been done for sports. Sports lovers are surprised and anxious in that regard.
“ We expect the new administration to address this issue quickly because Gombe State people are sports lovers. Also sports like football is time bound. The league will soon commence so the team needs adequate preparations,” he said.
Kalla observed that sports development at the grassroots had not been given due attention in the past, adding that grassroots sports development was key to building peace among communities.
Corroborating Kalla, Abubakar Wada, said the new administration of Gov. Yahaya should set up a special committee to revamp activities in the industry.
Wada said: “ Sports have the ability to heal the youth of any social vice and that’s why we are concerned about it. The government should look in that direction to create jobs too.
“If the youths are given a platform to showcase their talents, you will agree with me that Gombe can produce athletes for all kinds of sports that will make Nigeria as a whole proud.”
Mr Emma Sobok, however, disagreed on the need for a special committee for sports, saying: “ It is not necessary since we have the state has a sports commission. It will amount to duplication of function.
“I rather wish that every sport association should have a strong chairman, board members and seasoned coaches. Once the board is strengthened financially, sports glory will be returned to Gombe,’’ he said.
Damaryam Kenneth, Gombe State Chess Coach who spoke to NAN, decried that finance had been the major challenge militating against sports development in the state.
Kenneth recalled that in 2015, the state government set up boards for all sports which according to him, was a good move.
He, however, lament that such effort geared towards sports development in the state was wrecked by paucity of funds and lack of interest in other sports aside football and basketball.
The chess coach said that chess had proven to be effective in combating drug abuse in developed countries, adding that Gombe State could take a cue from such countries to rehabilitate and prevent our youths from drugs abuse.
(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)
250 for North West Holiday Volleyball Clinic for U-15 Boys, Girls
No fewer than 250 children from seven states in the country are participating in the fourth edition of the North West Volleyball For All Holiday Clinic for U-15 Boys and Girls.
The clinic which was declared open on Thursday at the Indoor Gymnasium Hall, of Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, is sponsored by the President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Musa Nimrod, according to the Head of Administration, North West Zone, Kayode Ogunleye.
Ogunleye described the clinic as an annual event, which is in its fourth edition, saying the competition was encouraging.
“The event always takes place during summer and it has been something the children look forward to yearly.
“It is solely sponsored by Engr. Nimrod, North West Zone representative of the board as well as the NVBF President. Nimrod and the zone are in charge of organising and inviting children from all the zones and schools around,” he said.
“We are still expecting more children to turn up; talents discovered during the clinic will be nurtured. We will keep a tab on them and groom them to stardom.
“The games masters are here to pick up talents discovered. Last year, the NVBF President was here and donated balls which have contributed to development of the clinic.
“What we lacked in the past was inability to replace aging players at the national team but now, we have available replacement from clinics like this,” he added.
Ogunleye said that the NVBF president was doing a lot to sustain the clinic.
“We are encouraging the talents, meeting them one on one and we are not limiting it to volleyball, we want other sports to emulate same,” he added.
He however identified lack of funds and reluctance of parents to release their children for the clinic as some of the biggest hurdles they were faced with.
“As you can see they are well fed. It is not easy for one individual alone to sponsor such,” he said.
One of the instructors, Coach Samuel Ajayi said that at the end of the clinic, the children would have learnt a lot.
“Most of them will be familiar with volleyball and would like to play volleyball. The clinic is all about catching them young,’’ Ajayi said.
Former Falconets captain, Chiejine, is dead
Ifeanyi Chiejine, former captain of Nigeria’s Under 20 female football team, Falconets is dead.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced this on its twitter handle @thenff on Thursday in Abuja.
Chiejine captained the first set of the U-19 national team, which is now known as U-20, to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2002 and went on to play for the senior team, Super Falcons.
“We are sad to announce the sudden demise of former @NGSuper_Falcons player Ifeanyichukwu Chiejine who passed on after a brief illness on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019,” NFF said.
Chiejine played for Nigeria Women Football League clubs like Pelican Stars, Flying Babes FC, Confluence Queens and FCT Queens.
She was also part of the successful Bayelsa Queens side that won the league back to back in 2006 and 2007 alongside Evelyn Nwabuoku and Onome Ebi, among others.
She represented Nigeria at three FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999, 2003 and 2007 and was the youngest player at the 1999 FIFA Women’ World Cup in the U.S.
Embrace international best practices, SWAN charges new Kwara United board
The Kwara Chapter of Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has charged the newly-appointed members of the Kwara United FC board to make international best practices in football administration their watchword.
Owolewa, while congratulating the board, headed by a former Kwara Football Academy (KFA) administrator, Mr Kumbi Titiloye, expressed optimism that it would perform credibly well because of the track records of the members in football administration.
The association urged soccer enthusiasts in the state to give the board maximum support to ensure its success, adding, however, that it should be allowed to operate without any interference.
It also expressed the hope that the new management would return the club to the Nigeria Professional Football League next season.
SWAN praised Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq for putting round pegs in round hole.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Troubled Bolton accept manager Parkinson’s resignation
Parkinson, who was hired in 2016, guided Bolton to the second-tier Championship in his first season but financial mismanagement nearly led to a winding-up order before first team players boycotted games over unpaid wages last season.
Bolton have been in administration since May and started the season with a 12-point deduction and Tuesday’s match against Doncaster Rovers was postponed by the English Football League (EFL) over concerns about the welfare of young players playing for the first team.
“It is with great reluctance that Bolton Wanderers Football Club has accepted the resignations of manager Phil Parkinson and assistant manager Steve Parkin from their positions at the University of Bolton Stadium,” the third-tier club said in a statement here
“During what has been one of the most challenging periods in the club’s existence, both Phil and Steve conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism and dignity throughout.
“Everybody at Bolton Wanderers would like to thank Phil and Steve for their dedication and loyalty and we wish them the very best for the future.
“ They leave the University of Bolton Stadium with their heads held high.”
The club said academy manager Jimmy Phillips has been appointed to take charge of the first team on an interim basis.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Ex-Oyo Commissioner, SWAN congratulate Dare, say appointment well-deserved
By Akeem Abas
Oke, in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen on Thursday in Ibadan, described the appointment as well-deserved.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Dare, a renowned media practitioner and former Executive Commissioner (South-West) of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was on Wednesday inaugurated as the Minister of Youths and Sports by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The former commissioner described Dare as a technocrat, who had, over the years, demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness in every assignment he undertook.
“Dare is a hardworking man who has distinguished always himself in any assignment he undertook, both at the national and international levels,’’ he said.
Oke, who expressed optimism that the new minister would not disappoint the people of Oyo State and Nigerians in general in his new assignment, called on the people to support him.
Also, the Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Oyo State Chapter, has congratulated Dare on his appointment as the Minister of Youths and Sports, saying that it was commendable.
The association, in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Niyi Alebiosu and Adewale Tijani, expressed hope of positive turn around in the ministry, considering Dare’s pedigree.
“We have no doubt that this appointment is well deserved, having exhibited high level of professionalism all through your career as a journalist and in other assignments you have undertaken,’’ the association remarked.
It expressed confidence that the new minister’s professional experience, integrity and high level of humility would, no doubt, add value to the Buhari-led administration.
“As stakeholders in the sports and journalism sectors, we are optimistic that your leadership will give the required commitment to the sector towards repositioning it for greater heights.
“While we are not mindful of the fact that the task ahead of you will be hectic, we wish you luck and success, and extend our sincere support to your administration in bringing reforms to the ministry and sports in general,’’ SWAN said.
Edited by Cecilia Odey and ‘Wale Sadeeq