Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has congratulated Team Nigeria that participated at the just-concluded African Senior, Junior and Cadet Wrestling Championships in Hammamet, Tunisia. Nigeria came tops at the tournament winning six gold and four silver medals in the senior category, two gold in the junior category and one gold in beach wrestling. The team also won three silver and two bronze medals in different categories as well as clinching the African senior female team title for an unprecedented 12th time. Olympic silver medallist, Blessing Oborududu, won gold in the 68kg category to emerge 12-time African champion. Governor Diri in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, noted that the team, which had 10 young Bayelsa wrestlers, made the state and the country proud at the championships. He said their performance was a positive manifestation of his administration’s relentless investment in sports and youths of the state. Diri also stated that his government’s passion to develop the potential of Bayelsa youths through skills acquisition and other human capacity building initiatives had changed the narrative about Bayelsa in the last three years and counting.
He urged the youths not to rest on their laurels and continue to do the state and Nigeria proud. Giving a breakdown of the team’s performance, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Sports, Daniel Igali, who doubles as President, Nigeria Wrestling Federation, said Governor Diri funded and supported 10 of the 18 wrestlers to the tournament. Igali explained that Bayelsa wrestlers in the team won three senior gold medals, two junior gold medals, and one beach wrestling gold medal in addition to three senior silver and two senior bronze medals. He said: “The Bayelsa State government sponsored and supported 10 Bayelsans to this tournament. “I acknowledge and appreciate His Excellency Senator Douye Diri for his support to the Nigeria national wrestling team. Without his support, we would not have got these results. “His penchant for grooming and supporting Bayelsa athletes is manifesting not only in our exploits nationally but also continentally as evidenced by the exploits of our wrestlers at the recently concluded 2023 Senior, Junior and Cadet African Championships in Hammamet, Tunisia.”
Lagos State promises to back Pan African Scrabble Association
The Lagos phase of the historic Pan African Youth Scrabble Championship Trophy Tour came to a befitting close on Wednesday as the State Government under the dynamic leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, through the Sports Commission received the Dr. Mrs. Winifred Awosika AYSC nickel plated trophy. The Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Engineer Sola Aiyepeku received the trophy from the President of Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA), Adekoyejo Adegbesan, on behalf of the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the Conference Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere. Sola Aiyepeku, who is also a marketing consultant, promised that the State Government will support the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) and the two-in-one event, the PANASA President’s Cup and the PANASA Youth Championship. Both events are scheduled to take place in the Centre of Excellence, Lagos between the 24th and 28th of August, 2023. “On behalf of the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwolu, we are proud that a leading Continental Governing Body of Sport have chosen Lagos, the fifth largest economy in Africa to host these maiden tournaments.” Sola Aiyepeku a former banker stated. He went further to state that, “It is very rewarding and fulfilling that when someone makes a pledge and days after, you are already fulfilling your pledge. We are grateful and we will back you in the way we can.” The Centre of Excellence, Lagos State, is one of the leading sporting tourist destination in the world as it has play host to a number of major sporting events in the last sixty years. “One message I have been preaching for the past 3 decades is that government cannot do everything for us. It is important that we support the government.” He said. The President of the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) Adekoyejo Adegbesan, affectionately called Sheikh said Lagos State was chosen to host both events because of its strategic location, it’s good and friendly business environment, the excellent hospitality industry as well as its rich sporting heritage.
“You know, Lagos State is not just the economy capital of the continent, it’s also has the man-power to handle major multiple international Championships at the same.” The PANASA President added. The Lagos Trophy Tour started on Tuesday. It’s first port of call was the Chrisland School in Ikeja before the delegation paid a courtesy visit to the title sponsor of the African Youth Scrabble Championship, Dr. Mrs. Winifred Awosika a renowned educational icon. Over five hundred players and officials from about 25 countries will be in Lagos during the two Pan African Scrabble Association Championships. Adegbesan, who is a tech expert as well as the Chairman of Ogun State Scrabble Association (OSSA), believes that the Dr. Mrs. Winifred Awosika AYSC Trophy Tour of some selected countries will help spread the gospel of scrabble and accelerate it’s growth and acceptance as a sport that has the capability to sustain its participants economical. The Trophy Tour which began on the first of May in Accra, Ghana has visited three other cities before landing in Lagos. Eldoret and Nairobi in Kenya hosted the Trophy Tour between the 6th and 9th of this month before Nigeria’s capital Abuja on the 15th. From Lagos, the Dr. Mrs. Winifred Awosika AYSC Trophy Tour delegation will touch down in Monrovia, Liberia and after Liberia the Trophy Tour will head to two Ugandan cities of Gulu and Kampala. After the presentation of the trophy, the PANASA President Adegbesan and his team later inspected the Chrisland Schools facilities in Lekki ear marked to host the African Youth Scrabble Championship in August.
CFN president, Massari commends Gov Wike for recognition granted cycling
P resident of the Cycling Federation of Nigeria, CFN, Engr. Giadomenico Massari has commended the outgoing governor of Rivers State for the magnanimity he extended to the cycling community in the country as he gets set to bow out of office. The CFN boss in his closing remarks at the presentation of cash prizes and medals to winners at the just concluded National Cycling Road Championship in Port Harcourt last week said that the federation was delighted that the governor approved for cycling to be included in the programme of the transition from his government to that of the governor-elect, Siminalayi Fubara. “This is the first time that any major sporting event shall be granted Executive approval, in the lineup of programmes of Government during transition. “Our Federation owes the outgoing Executive Governor of Rivers State a heart full of gratitude for the magnanimity extended to the Cycling Community in Nigeria”, Engr. Massari said.
He presented a plaque to the governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, for his support to the CFN and pleaded “for more collaboration ( with the state government) to enable the Cycling Federation take maximum advantage of these sprawling and well designed roads to improve on our capacity towards an optimum performance in continental and global championships”. Responding on behalf of Gov Wike, Dr. Danagogo thanked the CFN for the recognition and award on the governor, stressing that “the governor has assured that even out of government, he will continue to support the development of sports in Rivers State and Nigeria at large”.