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Showing posts with label national sports festival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label national sports festival. Show all posts

Monday, 19 April 2021

Lagos FA hosts NSF football teams; urges players to focus on career and education

 Lagos FA hosts NSF football teams; urges players to focus on career and education

The Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) hosted the Silver medalist Team Lagos men's and women's football teams at the just concluded 2020 National Sports Festival in Benin City on Sunday at the Soccer Temple, Agege.

LSFA Chairman who also double as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi appreciated Team Lagos Football teams and urged the players to focus on their career and education.

"We are here to welcome you back home and to say thank you to the team's contingent, coaches, players, and backroom staff, we are proud of you all. We appreciate your attitude and the kind of football you played. Your progress is our mission, you have got the experience and you all will be stronger. You all have made us proud," emotional Akinwunmi said.

Akinwunmi commended the Lagos State government and the Sports Commission for their support despite the challenges the team encountered during the qualifiers and accreditation of players for the Festival.

"We appreciate the Lagos State government and the Lagos State Sports Commission for their support. We are ready to support your progress, we know what we have done to support different kids in Lagos, footballers and also those willing to acquire education. We have saved a lot from slavery contracts as well.

"Football is gradual, with the right support you will get there. You have to take the right steps, if you are patient you will get there. You all need education, educated players is a better player. An educated player as security after playing. 

"We are not interested in football agencies, we are only interested in your success. We are here to guide you and support your progress. This is the beginning for you all, you have to continue working hard. The glory is for us in Lagos, this is the reason why we have to work together as a family. My board members have been fantastic and we are proud that our work has come to fruition."

LSFA Vice-Chairman Otunba Tade Azeez described the team's podium finish as the 'Golden' Silver medal.

"We are proud of your performance, it was a Golden Silver finish for us. We heard what happened in Edo State, irrespective of that, we are proud of your performance," an elated Azeez said.

The head coach of the men's team, Hamidi Suleiman shower praises on his boys for their performance in Benin City despite the drama and intimidation in the final game.

He said; "We appreciate the opportunity for us to compete in the Festival, I want to salute my boys for their performance despite the challenges in Benin City. It was an amazing experience and I think we were good ambassadors of the State. We lost in the final, football is a game of chance, but despite losing the final game, we were the center of attention for those at the stadium."

The captain of the women's team, Asooto Franca narrated the experience they garnered at the Festival.

"In our first game, we played with just eight players because of clearance issues, but we were still able to secure a result. Then, the issue of penalties came up as a tiebreaker for the team that would progress and we survived the hurdle. Our performance in the semifinal was superb and I think we gave our best in the final. The experience wasn't good in the final, tensed atmosphere and intimidation," Franca revealed.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

NSF: Main Organizing Committee Strips Bayelsa Athlete Off Six Medals

 NSF: Main Organizing Committee Strips Bayelsa Athlete Off Six Medals

The Main organizing committe of the National Sports Festival in Edo State has disqualified Dino Ebarakumo, thereby stripping him off the medals he has won so far.

Ebarakumo according to reports registered for team Rivers heading into the festival, but eventually, fraudulently turned up for team Bayelsa without a proper clearance by the MOC.

With the development, the organizers say the four gold and two silver medals he has so far won have been cancelled.

Meanwhile, there are insinuations from different quarters that team Bayelsa has other athletes it poached right at the venue without proper documentation.

It remains to be seen if more of Team Bayelsa athletes will suffer the same fate in the next couple of days

Saturday, 10 April 2021

NSF: Team Rivers Stella Wins Three Gold in Weightlifting

 NSF: Team Rivers Stella Wins Three Gold in Weightlifting

Itua Favour

Stella Kingsley Peters of Team Rivers win 3 Gold medals in the Women 49kg Weightlifting event. 

Stella snatched 74kg, Clean and Jerked 105kg a record in (49KG) to pick the 3 available Gold.

It will be recalled Stella at the last National Sports Festival in 2018 she finished fourth in same category. 

An elated Stella thanked her coach for the support and God for the victory. 

"At the beginning it was not easy, I had to work very hard for it with the support of my coach Ojadi and Uche for advising me and encouraging me I also thank God for giving me the 3 gold medals, may his name be praised. 

The River State athlete who won 3 silvers at the 2019 All African Games in Morocco said she hope to qualify for the Olympics. 

She will now shift her focus to the African Championships, Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Friday, 9 April 2021

NSF: Grace Ayemoba Delivers 100m Hurdles Gold For Team Rivers

 NSF: Grace Ayemoba Delivers 100m Gold For Team Rivers

By Kingsley Oyero 

Grace Ayemoba showed class this Friday evening while competing in the 100 meters female event at the ongoing 2020 National Sports Festival in Edo State.

Participating in her fifth National Sports Festival, Ayemoba edged athletes from other states to emerge victorious.

Prior to the Festival, she had won two gold and three silver medals in past events and she promised to ink Rivers state's name in Gold at this edition.

She won gold in the 2011 event in hurdles and heptathlon, and after winning gold today, she said her plan is to catapult herself to the top an become one of the best athletes in Nigeria.

Ayemoba appreciated the Rivers state government for the unwavering support she and other Athletes are getting to have a good outing at the National Sports Festival.

Event will continue on Saturday and team Rivers will hope to continue having a fine run.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

NSF: Team Rivers Clinch Scrabble Masters' Singles Gold

 NSF: Team Rivers Clinch Scrabble Masters' Singles Gold

Nsikak Etim Solomon added to the medal haul of team Rivers today at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Edo State after winning a gold in scrabble.

Nsikak Etim Solomon defeated favourite and first African to be crowned World scrabble champion Jighere Wellington to the top podium prize in the Masters singles event.

Wellington who is representing team Delta settled for Silver, while George Ezinore of Edo State won bronze.

In the female singles, team Delta's Tuoyo Mayuku won the gold, while Sule Success and Bukunmi Afolayan of Edo and Ogun State in that order won Silver and bronze.

Delta also dominated the open singles category with Godsfavour Whiskey beating Sunday Ituah (Lagos) and Itiemo Brigeni (Bayelsa) to the Gold medal.

Events continue at the multi sports festival after the Edo State government and the Federal ministry of sports reached an agreement to continue with the event.

There were initial plans to bring the festival to an end by the Local organizing committe after the federal government was not forthcoming with the funds it promised to support the event.

Edo 2020: SWAN President frowns at poor treatment of members

 Edo 2020: SWAN President frowns at poor treatment of members

The national president of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Comrade Honour Sirawo, has lamented what he describes as "the poor treatment" of members of the Association at the ongoing National Sports Festival, Edo 2020. Mr. Honour while addressing members at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, Thursday, decried the inability of the organizers of the Games to provide basic media amenities and the bare minimums pertaining to the media coverage of the event to members of SWAN.

He attributed part of the struggles and inadequacies of the organizers to the inability of the federal government through the federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to financially support the government of Edo state which had exhausted its budget for the Festival after the competition suffered a couple of postponements before it eventually commenced on April 2, 2021. Mr. Sirawo who is also the Permanent Secretary of the Rivers state Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, however called on members to remain calm and continue with their "commendable coverage" of the Games while he continues to interface with the Games' organizers with a view to improving the working conditions of members at the event. 

The sports championship which is currently taking place in Benin city, the Edo state capital, is the twentieth edition of the biennial competition and has participants drawn from all thirty-six states of the Federation and the FCT.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

NSF:Big Brother Naija Star To Compete In The Colours Of Team Rivers

 NSF:Big Brother Naija Star To Compete In The Colours Of Team Rivers

First Runner up at the 2019 edition of Africa's television reality show, Big Brother Naija, Mike Edwards will represent team Rivers at the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival in Edo State.

Mike Edwards is a professional athlete who had represented Great Britain in the past as a long jumper.

The lagos born, United kingdom based athlete was meant to represent Nigeria at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but was banned for representing Great Britain 10 years prior to the competition which made him ineligible to represent Nigeria as it 2018.

The 28 year old who is also married to an athlete, Perris Shakes-Drayton who is an olympian has now been presented with the opportunity to show Nigerians the stuff he's made of.

Mike Edwards became an household name in Nigeria when he featured in the 2019 Big Brother Naija, he finished second just behind Mercy Eke, though many touted him to win and his fan base has remained strong and intact ever since.

Apart from sports and entertainment which brought him fame, Mike Edwards is also an entrepreneur, Mike owns the first Black-owned cigar line in the United Kingdom known as Aireyys.

He's one of the athletes expected to win a gold medal for the well prepared team Rivers.

NSF 2020: We Want To Better 2018 Performance- Iyaye

 NSF 2020: We Want To Better 2018 Performance- Iyaye

*Favour Itua*

Rivers State Commissioner of Sports Mr Boma Iyaye says Team Rivers ambition is to better last Festival's performance. 

Speaking immediately after the Opening Ceremony, Iyaye who came to cheer the team to victory praised Edo State for a befitting opening ceremony.

"First I want to commend the government of Edo State for a wonderful job this evening, it was an awesome event considering several postponements of the festival I think they did a very good job. 

Well, that's our ambition, but at the end of the day we will be able to ascertain if that is possible or not". 

Team Rivers placed second at the 19th National Sports Festival with 69 gold, 58 silver and 67 bronze medals, while Edo came third with 47 gold, 41 silver and 53 bronze medals.

It will be recalled Team Rivers has so far won 2 gold medals, one of which came from Judo. 

The Honourable Commissioner remained optimistic that the state will add to her medals and be in a good position. 

"For Team Rivers, this is just the beginning we are hoping that at the end of the day we get more medals and be in a good position on the medal table". 

Reacting to the absence of fans at the stadium to cheer the athletes, he said, 

"Nothing else to say that unfortunately they cannot be here to support their darling team Rivers but be that as it may all we need is prayers and support from Rivers".

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Why Taraba, Oyo States Are Disqualified From Participating In Edo 2020 – Director NCDC

 Why Taraba, Oyo States Are Disqualified From Participating In Edo 2020 – Director NCDC

By Niyi Busari

Director Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Edo State, Dr. Bruce Osha has explained why Team Taraba and Team Oyo will not participate in the 20th National Sports Festival, BSNSports.com.ng reports.

According to him,  this is because both states failed  to conduct Covid-19 and Vaccination tests for athletes and officials before traveling to the venue of the competition.

Bruce added that the two states and others who failed to follow the laid down procedures will be readmitted if they can go back to their states and conduct the two tests for athletes and officials.

“Oyo State and Taraba State will be sent packing because they did not follow the rules. The rules states that before each state depart their state, they should have their PCR results which they’re expected to bring with them and also vaccinate all their athletes but yesterday, Taraba and Oyo State did not come with their results and we cannot bend the rules, the rules must be followed so they have to go back, do their test and bring the results before we can allow them to take part in the competition.” Osha told BSN Sports.

He added, “The two states can still be admitted when they come with their results and PCR is Polymerase Chain Reaction, it’s a test that we use to detect Covid-19 virus. We use it to know whether or not someone is having Covid-19.

“You know this is the first time to country is organising sports festival in this pandemic so the rules were made by the authorities and it must be followed by all states that are competing in the sports festival.

“And the rules concerning Covid-19 PCR test is that each athletes before they leave their state must do the Covid-19 test to ascertain whether they are positive or negative and coming to the games village, they will present it for us to clear them but unfortunately Taraba State and Oyo State did not do that so that is why they will be sent back to go do their test, they can come back as they will be admitted.”

Sporting activities at the Edo 2020 will commence on Sunday 4th April and end 14th April.

National Sports Festival: Team Rivers Arrive Edo

The Rivers state contingent to the forthcoming Edo National Sports Festival arrived in Benin City, the state capital on Friday, April 2, 2021.

Up next for the team as expected is to sort out registration processes for the multi sports event.

Before their departure, the state government promised them mouth watering rewards if they win the 20th edition of the games .


Team Rivers are competing in 29 sports events and are expected to perform creditably following the quality and level of preparations as well as the support the team got from the state government.

The athletes and officials will receive their festival kits this weekend ahead of Tuesday's opening ceremony.

The Vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo is expected to declare open the National Sports Festival alongside the Sports Minister Sunday Dare

Friday, 2 April 2021

Win The National Sports Festival, Millions Will Flow- Rivers State Government To Athletes

 Win The National Sports Festival, Millions Will Flow- Rivers State Government To Athletes

The Rivers State government has assured its athletes to the National Sports Festival in Edo State of juicy rewards if they come out tops at the multi sports event.

Commissioner for sports Boma Iyaye while addressing the contingent this morning as they converged for departure to Edo State, brought to the fore the need to do Rivers State proud, adding that the athletes will be the biggest beneficiary if they win.

He boasted that the state government under the watchful eye of Governor Nyesom Wike will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that they are adequately rewarded for their outing.

In his words "If you come out first and the governor doesn't bless you, don't call my name again".

"Do well, I assure you that this team will be well rewarded"

Boma Iyaye charged the team to go for victory, make the state proud and be fearless.

Team Rivers is scheduled to arrive Edo later this evening, it was also confirmed in the commisioner's address that the team uniforms and equipment are ready, he said the Athletes will get it on arrival in Benin, Edo State

Thursday, 1 April 2021

NSF: Otonye Iworima Salutes Team Rivers On Adequate Preparation, Says Rivers State Is A Contender

 NSF: Otonye Iworima Salutes Team Rivers On Adequate Preparation, Says Rivers State Is A Contender

Nigeria's commonwealth games Bronze Medalist, Otonye Iworima says she was extremely happy when she visited the camp of team Rivers as they put finishing touches to their preparations for the National Sports Festival.

Iworima, a long and triple jumper said the level at which Rivers state has invested heavily in athletes and officials for the 20th National Sports Festival which is billed for Edo State starting from April 4 is laudable, adding that it will spur the athletes to give their all at the multi sports event.

She said "This is a befitting preparation, the standard is beyond what I have seen over the years, things have been taken to another level, it's highly encouraging"

"Obviously the Rivers state government under Governor Nyesom Wike has spent a lot of money, it will be golden and priceless for the athletes to also make him proud, and with what I have seen as per preparations, just watch out for team Rivers".

The beautiful Iworima who has represented Nigeria in different events is a graduate of Applied Arts from the University of Nigeria, NSUKKA, Enugu State and she has a Masters in Sports administration from switzerland.

In 2006, she finished second at the Commonwealth Games and third at the African Championships, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria AFN subsequently chose her as the Nigerian Female Athlete of the Year for that feat.

In 2007, she won another bronze medal, at the All-Africa Games, now known as the Africa Games.

Rivers State will be at the festival with 435 athletes and 144 officials competing for laurels in 29 Sports

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

National Sports Festival: Rivers State Government Confident of A Colourful Outing

The government of Rivers state has expressed confidence that its contingent to the 20th National Sports Festival tagged Edo 2020, coming up later this month will excel.

Commissioner for sports in the oil rich state Boma Iyaye during a press briefing today as the state continue to put finishing touches to their preparations for the multi sports event said the government is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that the Athletes will not lack basic motivation.

In his speech, He said "Rivers state has always participated in all editions of the National Sports Festival since the inception in 1973, we have hosted two editions in 1988 and 2011 respectively"

The commissioner added that "In recent past, we have been a major contender during the 2011, 2012 editions, it's our commitment and desire to maintain the BAR in the Edo 2020 edition, in spite of the several postponements".

Boma Iyaye stressed that the support of the state Governor, His Excellency Nyesom Wike has been tremendous, He said his interest in sport gives credence to his intention of unifying the state through youth empowerment and his will to tackle youth restiveness.

For the multi sports event, Rivers state is going to Edo with 434 athletes and 144 officials to compete for Honours in 29 sports.

Abula, Beach Volleyball, Athletics, Ayo, Badminton, Boxing, Chess, Cycling and Table Tennis are among the sports team Rivers is expected to take part in.

Monday, 29 March 2021

National Sports Festival: Team Rivers Athletes Receive Covid-19 Vaccine

National Sports Festival: Team Rivers Athletes Receive Covid-19 Vaccine

The Rivers state Athletes to the forthcoming National Sports Festival today got vaccinated as they intensify preparations for the festival.

The development is in tandem with the directive of the Honourable Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare that athletes and officials that will be part of the multi sports event must get vaccinated.

The Covid-19 Vaccine boosts the immune system and to a large extent prevents the novel virus from penetrating.

The 2021 National Sports Festival is scheduled to hold in Benin City, Edo State between April 2nd and 15th. It was shifted twice because of the pandemic which also halted other Sporting events globally.

With the opening ceremony in sight, arrangements are in top gear by Team Rivers to record a colourful outing. The State government has also charged the athletes to dazzle everyone and be the Cynosure of all eyes.

Rivers state is one of the leading states tipped to do well at the 20th National sports Festival due to its  numerical strength, quality of athletes and officials as well as the government's willingness to develop and promote the sports sector.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

National Council on Sports commits to April date for Sports Festival

 National Council on Sports commits to April date for Sports Festival.

-FG considers financial support

The Edo 2020 National  Sports Festival  earlier  scheduled  to hold  from February 14th- 28th has been  postponed  till April. This decision was reached after the emergency meeting of the National Council on Sports convened by the HM youth and sports who is the chairman of council. 

In attendance were Commisioners

Of Youth and Sports from the states of the federation and Directors of Sports. The Deputy Governor of Edo state was also in attendance.

This recent postponement was occasioned by the second wave of the pandemic and the paucity of funds. The Edo Govt had requested for financial support due to the cost implications it suffered arising from the postponement. 

The accommodation prepared at the University of Benin was no longer available for the Atheletes because students had resumed. 

Rising from the meeting  of the National Council  on Sports on Monday, Council resolved  that it was   best to shift  the Festival  to a later date due to financial challenges   raised by the host state,  accommodation problems  at the University  of Benin due to the resumption  of academic activities  which would affect the camping of atheletes. 

According  to the resolution  of the council, the Federal Government,  Edo state and the council on Sports  agreed that the Festival will  now hold in April since the earlier February  date was no longer feasible. 

According to the chairman of Council and Minister of Youth and sports Development Mr *Sunday Dare* "We have seen the Sports Festival postponed three times,' as we speak now most of us should have arrived Edo state getting ready for February 14, Sunday to start the Edo 2020 Sports Festival. But flowing from our last meeting a few things came up. There was an undertone that the postponements have occasioned some financial difficulties and strains on the host state, and I dare say even on our part as the Ministry the postponements have also occasioned some financial difficulties.  On the strength of this similar experience myself, His Excellency the Governor and also Deputy Governor have bounced Ideas, the conversation, back and forth. Of course, when December came, we know that almost everything stopped but it was agreed that it was important to approach the Federal Government for financial support. I'm  glad to report that the Federal Government  is favourably disposed to assisting Edo State to host the  Festival. In the next few day, we hope to  push through the document  through the Ministry  of Finance to get the financial  support to get the Festival  on track. The February  14th date was not cast in stone as we wanted to avoid another postponement.But we must agree that the  February  14th date is no longer  feasible."

 " The importance  of the Festival  cannot be  over emphasized.  The idea of not holding the Festival  should be thrown  out completely . It is an Olympics  year, it would help shape the atheletes  for the Olympics."

On his part. The Chairman of the Main Organizing Committee  and Edo State Deputy Governor  Comrade Philip Shuaibu said “I agree the Festival  should hold before the Olympics to get our athletes  fit and to secure points they require for the Olympics. Every postponement goes with a cost, but we are totally  committed  to hosting the festival. We are very expectant  of the support of the Federal Government  to make the Festival  a reality"

Sunday, 3 January 2021

National Sports Festival February Date Sacrosanct- Minister

 *February Festival Date Remains Sacrosanct.    Minister*

The Minister of youth and sports Development Mr. *Sunday Dare* has reassured that the February  14th 2021 kick off date for the National  Sports Festival  remains Sacrosanct.

According to the Minister,  "After the  National Sports Festival in February this year, we will move to the National Youth Games and  continue the build up to the Olympic Games ".

Building quality facilities and engaging good coaches, which are keys to producing World- class athletes, require heavy investment. 

"We have asked for  25 percent of the Lottery Fund to come to sports. Jamaica and England give between 31 to 38 Percent of their Lottery Funds to sports, but right now we are getting nothing from the fund.

We hope to get the approval for the Lottery Fund money in the first quarter of  the year."

On the adopt-an-athlete initiative, which was  introduced to cater for athletes' welfare, *Dare* said it has been  successful so far, assuring that this year,  it would  accommodate more athletes.

"The initiative provides $10, 000 training Funds for home-based athletes, while the  foreign-based  get $20, 000.The money's goes directly to the athletes, who are expected to use it for  their training, medicals and travels for competitions. 

The benefiting athletes sign MOUs with the adopting companies or individuals so that all the parties are protected.

"The initiative was stalled by the COVID-19 outbreak last year, but more companies have lined up to be part of it. We are looking at an initial 48 athletes benefiting "


*Media Office To The  Minister Of Youth And Sports Development*

Thursday, 26 November 2020



By *_Engr. Chika Chukwumerije_* _OLY, MNSE_

Two major political elections were held in Ondo & Edo; the National Festival of Arts & Culture was held in Plateau; Churches & Mosques across the nation threw open their gates; NYSC camps are open; millions of children have flooded back into the classrooms to continue their education; and millions of businesses have welcomed back their employees.

Yet, the 2020 National Sports Festival is to be purportedly postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

Prior to the holding of these other events, ‘concerns’ were raised about the impact of COVID-19, but the events were ultimately allowed to hold, despite the fact that the ‘crowd size and crowd proximity’ involved are similar to those that will gather at the National Sports Festival.

One must then ponder this situation where, despite the ‘concerns’ raised, national activities and events related to Religion, Politics, Culture, Education, Business did not suffer; yet Sports which is the only entity that provides an amalgamation of all the forementioned entities unfairly suffers due to the same concerns. 

Expectedly, sports enthusiasts and dependents are crying out at the selective and marginalized application of these concerns. They are also wondering why the dates were fixed in the first place without final authorization first being secured, this pointedly being the reason for the unfolding confusion and distress. 

Most certainly, health should be the priority in deciding to hold or postpone the National Sports Festival – but it is only one side of the health argument that is being put up.

The other side of the health argument is the MENTAL HEALTH & SANCTITY of tens of thousands of youths and officials for whom sports is their anchor; in addition to the FINANCIAL HEALTH of legion of sporting youths from across the 37 states, who have looked to the 2020NSF to salvage some of the financial damage inflicted by the COVID-19 disruption. 

This is why the European leagues are back in play because they understand that the damage wrought on people’s mental health accompanied by the financial losses incurred are hugely disproportional, especially when one considers that the spread of covid-19 can be mitigated in a controlled environment.

The depression and anxiety felt by the sports community is real, and the 2020NSF was the defibrillator needed to counteract the sporting arrhythmia currently being experienced by tens of thousands of sporting youths.

If Kenyans were allowed to travel 4760km from Kenya to Nigeria to participate and enjoy the benefits of the recently held Kaduna Marathon, it is only fair to argue that Nigerians be allowed to travel much fewer kilometers to participate and benefit from the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival.

To this effect, all efforts must be made to satisfy whatever conditions are necessary to ensure the 2020 National Sports Festival are safely held, either at these original dates proposed or within the next two months.

Leadership at all levels should properly align for a major decision like this.

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