Grace Oshiokpu, a 2019 Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) U-18 triple jump bronze medallist, on Tuesday said that she felt great representing the country for the first time ever.
“Featuring in the CAA U-18 championships is my first time of representing Nigeria and it felt so good and I was happy because that is what I have always wished for,” she said.
NAN reports that the up and coming athlete won the medal at the championships which held in April in Abidjan.
Oshiokpu told NAN that she had always known that she would be a triple jumper.
“I knew right from the onset that it was triple jump for me because I see myself doing great in the event, I foresee a bright future in the event for me,” she said.
The athlete, who recently graduated from secondary school, said that she would always do the country and her family proud in any competition.
“My dream is to always make Nigeria proud, my family and myself proud in any outing,” she said.
The Delta indigene added that she usually trained five-times in a week to ensure she was always ready for any national assignment.
Minister pledges private sector driven sports for national development
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has pledged to intensify synergy with the private sector for holistic development of sports in Nigeria.
The minister made the pledge on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of an
Inter Ministerial Technical Session on Sports Industry Development organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG).
He stressed the need for a private sector-driven sports industry to create employment for the youths and stimulate socio-economic development.
He said “the global practice is for the private sector to partner with the public sector in tapping into the business potential of the sports sector.
“The sector has economic potential to develop strategies and interventions in ensuring economic growth and prosperity, which in turn guarantees social and community development across all spheres.”
Dare said that the ministry was working with the NESG and relevant ministries to develop a National Sports Policy Document, tailored to reach mutual understanding, vision and targets in the field of sports.
He added that “the inter ministerial consultation will assist in fashioning out a new policy to deliver quality sports and physical activity experiences in the development of nationhood.”
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NESG, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, stressed the need for sports to be seen as a viable business industry that can generate revenue and create employment.
He said the NESG was ready to work closely with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to reposition sports for socio-economic development.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the two-day technical session with the theme “Positioning Sports as an Industry from Concept to Action” has participants from Ministries, Department and Agencies, as well as the private sector.
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Niger SWAN gets 3-man Caretaker/Electoral Committee
The Niger chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has put in place a three-man Caretaker/Electoral Committee ahead of expected elections into its State Executive Committee. John Adams, the committee’s Secretary, disclosed in a statement on Thursday that the committee came into being following the dissolution of the chapter’s Executive Committee on Wednesday.
“Niger SWAN had an expanded stakeholders’ meeting in Minna on Wednesday, during which a three-man Caretaker/Electoral Committee headed by Dan Amasin of the Daily Asset Newspapers as Chairman was put in place.
“The Caretaker/Electoral Committee which was given three months within which to organise election into a new Executive Committee of the Association in the state also has Usman Garba of Radio Niger to serve as the Treasurer.
“In essence, the committee has Amasin, Adams, and Garba as members,’’ he said.
Adams explained that the decision by the SWAN stakeholders in the state to put in place a caretaker committee was necessitated by some factors.
“One, it is as a result of the expiration of the tenure of the State Executive Committee, headed by Hassan Abubakar.
“Also, Abubakar’s suspension from the Niger Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) for anti-Union activities meant that something has to be done.
“In addition, the stakeholders also frowned at the failure of the now former Executive Committee to call a congress of the chapter to seek for the three-month extension of its tenure as required by the SWAN Statutes before the suspension of its Chairman,’’ he said.
Adams added that it was on the basis of these inadequacies, as they infringed upon the provisions of SWAN Statutes in Article 21(g) that members moved for the Executive Committee’s dissolution.
“Suleiman Isah of the Authority Newspapers moved a motion for the formal dissolution of the Executive Committee and the constitution of a three-man Caretaker Committee.
“This motion was seconded by the Treasurer of the dissolved Executive Committee, Bayo Oguntuase of Radio Niger.
“Then, Dan Atori of New Telegraph immediately moved for the appointment of the three members of the caretaker committee and this was seconded by `Yes’ votes from the stakeholders at the meeting.
“The committee has now been given three months as required by the SWAN Statutes to organize elections which will see the emergence of a new Executive Committee for the state SWAN,’’ he said.
Adams disclosed that the stakeholders urged the committee members to ensure a level-playing field for all members of the association to participate in the elections.
“They advised that this will go a long way to ensure we have a vibrant SWAN in the state.’’
He went on to quote Amasin as saying, in his response, that he and his colleagues were grateful for the confidence reposed in them.
“But I want to remind all SWAN members in the state that there is no crisis in the Association in the state, and I therefore urge members to disregard all the insinuations regarding the emergence of the Caretaker Committee.
“I call on all well-meaning members of the Association to join hands with our committee to ensure smooth elections which will usher in a new and vibrant SWAN Executive Committee in the state,’’ Amasin who is a two-times chairman of the state Executive Committee said.
(Edited by Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Ruiz defeat made me a smarter fighter, says Joshua
Briton Anthony Joshua said his first career defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. was due to a lack of experience and he had become a “smarter” fighter ahead of December’s rematch.
Mexican-American Ruiz produced one of boxing’s biggest upsets when he dethroned the previously undefeated world heavyweight champion with a seventh-round stoppage at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.
“It wasn’t burnout. The issues I faced in the last camp, it’s just down to lack of experience,” he told BBC.
“Even though it was at a high level, we were still finding experience.
“Andy Ruiz is good but I don’t think he should beat me twice. I used to hear guys say you have to take a loss and I would think ‘why’?
“Now I can understand it and know what it takes. I have more understanding now and my ears are open to new information so that’s making me smarter as a fighter,” Joshua said.
The WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight title rematch – dubbed the ‘Clash on the Dunes’, will take place in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 7 after former Olympic Champion Joshua triggered a rematch clause.
“The blessing is I have a second chance and here we are,” the 30-year-old said.
Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Nat’l Volleyball league: NCS vows to defend title
Defending champion, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has vowed retain its title in both male and female categories at the National Volleyball Premier League slated for between Nov. 21 and Dec. 1 in Abuja.
Head Coach of the male NCS team, Eric Kefas disclosed this while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja.
NAN reports that the league is scheduled for Indoor Sports Hall, Package B of Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
Kefas said both NCS male and female teams had been training and fine tuning their strategies to retain the title.
“We have prepared both teams very well and we are ready to go all the way in the competition.
“We want to be steps above other teams as we are ready to do NCS proud at the end of the tournament,” he said.
He said the teams were prepared and well motivated against upsets and surprises during the 10-day competition.
Captain of the team Isaac Geofrey, said they were mentally and physical ready for the tournament.
“We have been in camp for the last three weeks preparing for the league, we are not afraid of any team, we will be going all out to defend our title both in the male and the female categories,” he said.
The Secretary General, NCS Sports Unit, Samuel Onikeku, said they had set a continental ticket target for the teams, adding that the teams were well motivated to attain the target.
“We have motivated the teams in terms of welfare, all thanks to NCS Comptroller General Hameed Ali, we have also asked them to retain their title and pick continental tickets,” he said.
NAN reports that eight male teams and seven female teams would vie for honours in the competition with the match fixtures slated for Friday.
NCS defeated NSCDC in both male and female categories in the finals to emerge premier league champions in 2018.
Edited by Ali Baba (NAN)-Inuwa
2019/2020 NPFL: Sunshine Stars beat title-holders Enyimba
Sunshine Stars Football Club of Akure on Wednesday beat Enyimba Internatonal FC of Aba 1-0 in a Match Day 4 fixture of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the match’s only goal came in the 10th minute.
Abia had in the 50th minute missed scoring from 18 yards after facing Enyimba’s goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali face to face.
All efforts by the visitors to equalise were rebuffed by the home team to ensure maximum the three points were kept in the kitty.
The Technical Adviser of Sunshine Stars, Kabiru Dogo, later said he was happy his team picked the maximum three points from the game.
Dogo said he was much more happy that his team was creating scoring chances, adding that it was a matter of time before his team would be scoring more goals.
“I am very happy, if you look at the calibre of opposition we played, and we secured victory. We have to appreciate God and the players,” he said.
Speaking also, Omaka said he was happy to have scored in an encounter against the current NPFL champions.
On his part, the Head Coach of Enyimba FC, Usman Abd’Allah, said the first formation he planned to use in the match did not work out.
“This forced us into making quick substitutions in the second half,’’ he said.
Abd’Allah was however quick to point out that the match was a good game generally, in view of having o play against a strong home team.
NAN reports that Sunshine Stars now have five points from three matches.
(Edited by Dorcas Jonah and Olawale Alabi (NAN))
NPFL: Jigawa Golden Stars beat Pillars 1-0 in Kano
Kano Pillars made three changes in the second half and every effort to salvage a draw proved abortive as the newly promoted side claimed the three points in the Pyramid City.
Speaking with newsmen after the match, Jigawa Coach, Rabiu Tata, commended his players for their team work and fighting spirit.
“I need to appreciate the boys for their effort today, for keeping and playing to instructions. They maintained the tempo of the game from the beginning until the end.
“We played well, and I must commend my young team for beating a good and experienced club like Kano Pillars,” he said.
Pillars Coach, Ibrahim Musa, said the club would focus on winning subsequent games.
He also said that his team would gradually pick up from the situation they found themselves.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Pillars management gave three match ultimatum to the technical crew of the club last week after losing at home to Lobi stars.
Pillars now have one point from three matches played so far and occupy 18th position in the league table.
Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Tukur Muntari. (NAN)
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