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Okowa Calls For Holistic Approach To Sports Development

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Delta Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (right) discussing with the Hon. Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare at the Extra Ordinary National Council meeting on Sports held in Government House,Asaba on Monday.Delta State Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Monday, called for holistic approach to sports development and management in Nigeria to maximise the contribution of sports to national development.

Okowa who made the call in his remarks during the Extra Ordinary National Council on Sports Meeting held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, said attention seems to have focused primarily on football and, to some extent, athletics, to the neglect of other sports.

According to him, there is no such thing as a minor sport; they are all very important and have the strong potential to lift our youths from poverty to prosperity and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country.

For instance, he said, golf is reputed as the richest sport in the world, yet it is hardly played in this part of the world except by the rich and powerful for recreational purposes.

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Okowa stated that the state government was pleased to host the Extra Ordinary Meeting of the National Council on Sports, adding that the state capital, Asaba, has in recent years, become a preferred destination for national conferences and events owing to its rapid urbanization and quantum leap in the hospitality industry.

He expressed hope that the meeting would develop policies and action plans to maximise the contribution of sport to national development, pointing out that aside from its entertainment value, sports has the proven capacity to teach participants life skills in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere.

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“It has the power to imbue the youth with the values of discipline, teamwork, fair play, leadership, healthy living, communication, and continuous improvement, essential qualities needed to succeed in life.

“Sport is also a powerful medium to weld national unity. Indeed, when appropriately harnessed, funded, and utilized, sports can bring about positive outcomes in the economy, health, education, and social cohesion.

“For that to happen, strategic planning is required. I believe there is an urgent need to carve a road map for sports development and administration in the country;

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“Such a road map must be perfectly understood by policy makers, administrators, and officials, have measurable goals, and contain an equitable reward system that will motivate the athletes,” he said.

On the national sports festival, the governor said the government and good people of the state were eagerly looking forward to hosting the 2022 edition of the sports fiesta which, according to him, is one of the decisions that is expected to be ratified at the extra-ordinary meeting.

He, therefore, assured the Minister of Youth and Sports Development and other members of the National Council On Sports that the state was poised to host the best National Sports Festival saying that the state has the needed infrastructure, industry, facilities, personnel and experience to make the nation proud.

“In 2018, within months of completing the Stephen Keshi Stadium, we hosted the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship, tagged Asaba 2018.

“It is fair to say that Asaba 2018, which held from August 1-5, 2018, surpassed the expectations of the Local Organising Committee and even the Confederation of African Athletics.

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“For the first time in the 39 years history of the competition, there were 52 countries that took part, five more than the previous record of 47. The tournament also featured a record number of 800 athletes while the number of events competed for rose from 44 to 46,” the governor said.

Earlier in his address, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare said the Extra Ordinary Meeting of the Council was to deliberate and approve the recommendation received from the technical session as well as to enable the ministry and the host state draw timeliness of activities for the conduct of a successful sport festival .

Chief Dare disclosed that a Department for National Sports Festival and Para -Sports has been established in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

He said Main Organising Committee (MOC) has been constituted for the 2022 National Sports Festival, adding that the committee is headed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development with the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee as Vice Chairman of the MOC.

He charged members of the Council on Sports to come up with fruitful resolutions for the development and progress of sports in Nigeria, even as he expressed appreciation to the state governor Senator Okowa for providing the necessary logistics for the meeting.

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“At the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, we are beating a new path, traveling a road less travelled.

“From the reclassification of sports as business and the reviewed National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) now in its final clearing stage, to the efforts to bring back the National Sports Commission (NSC) in order to refit our sports federations.

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“Funding, autonomy is now being considered. Athletes welfare is now top of the agenda. New ethics document now in the works that sets out procedures and benched against best practices,” Chief Dare said.

Highlights of the ceremony was the inauguration of a 17-man Local Organising Committee (LOC) headed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah by Governor Okowa and signing of the 21st National Sports Festival Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Delta State Government as well as the presentation of the hosting flag which signifies the hosting rights to Governor Okowa.
The post Okowa Calls For Holistic Approach To Sports Development appeared first on Vanguard News.

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Boniface named among Bundesliga’s most skilful stars

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Bayer Leverkusen star Victor Boniface has secured a nomination among the most skilful players in the ongoing 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign so far.

After his move from Union SG last July, the Super Eagles striker wasted no time making an impact under the guidance of manager Xabi Alonso.

Boniface’s initial burst in Germany was nothing short of impressive, netting ten goals in 16 league matches.

However, his promising run hit an abrupt halt due to a groin injury, forcing him to miss the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations held in Ivory Coast.

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Despite his current injury setback, the striker’s noteworthy performances have not gone unnoticed.

The spotlight now shines on a particular display of individual brilliance during Leverkusen’s Bundesliga clash against RB Leipzig at the Bay Arena in August 2023.

In that game, Boniface executed a cunning feint, deceiving his marker into anticipating a right-footed shot, only to cleverly pass the ball with his left foot. Although he didn’t find the net, Leverkusen emerged victorious with a 3-2 scoreline.

Boniface shares the skills spotlight with four other notable players: Andrej Kramaric, Jadon Sancho, Felix Nmecha, and Xavi Simons.

To participate in the voting process, fans can visit the Bundesliga’s official website and select their choice among the nominated players.

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At the time of this report, Jadon Sancho leads the polls with an impressive 75% of the votes. Xavi Simons secures the second position with 17%, while Boniface currently holds 5%. Hoffenheim’s Kramaric and Dortmund’s Nmecha trail behind with 1% and 2% of the votes, respectively.

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BREAKING: Bayern Munich to part ways with Tuchel

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German giants Bayern Munich will be parting ways with its manager, Thomas Tuchel, at the end of the season, Sky Germany reports.

Theheute reports that Tuchel will leave Bayern after both sides had “fair and positive discussions” and came to an agreement.

An official announcement is set to be made in the coming days by Bayern.

The Bundesliga champions have also reportedly started a search for a new coach with Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp among the top contenders.

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Details later…

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Osimhen May Miss Napoli’s Champions League Clash with Barcelona

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Napoli could be without Victor Osimhen when they host Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 after the striker missed their last-gasp 1-1 home draw with Genoa in Serie A yesterday due to fatigue.

Osimhen returned to his Italian club after helping Nigeria reach the Africa Cup of Nations final which they lost 2-1 to hosts Côte d’Ivoire last Sunday.

“According to him and the doctors, the boy is at his lowest,” coach Walter Mazzarri told DAZN.

“Coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations it wouldn’t have been the best choice to risk it and let him play for a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes, so the doctor told me.”

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The tournament took its toll on Osimhen, who suffered stomach pains ahead of the semi-final against South Africa and was only cleared to play the day before the match.

The 25-year-old scored one goal in the tournament but his performances played an important role as Nigeria reached the final for the eighth time.

“Today (Saturday) he had an anti-fatigue training, tomorrow (Sunday) he will train. We hope to have him ready for Barcelona (but) his presence will not be certain,” Mazzarri said.

“Since I arrived I’ve never had him. He was injured, I had to recover him gradually. Then there was the Africa Cup of Nations,” the Napoli gaffer concluded.

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