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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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Paris Games: Reps back Team Nigeria with N100m

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Paris Games: Reps back Team Nigeria with N100m

The House of Representatives on Wednesday announced the donation of N100 million to Nigeria’s 2024 Olympics and Paralympics contingent to the forthcoming Games billed for Paris, France.

The Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, who presided over the plenary in the absence of the Speaker, Tajudden Abbas, disclosed this when the House hosted the Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, who was in the Green Chamber to unveil Team Nigeria’s Olympics and Paralympics kits.

 

Also read: Reps panel quizzes minister, alleges N1.5bn diversion

 

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Kalu disclosed that the N100m, which will come from the lawmakers’ earnings, was in honour of Ekene Adams, the lawmaker, who until his death on Tuesday, chaired the House Committee on Sports.

“The money is coming from our salaries,” Kalu, who spoke on behald of the Speaker, stated.

“In honour of our late colleague, Hon Ekene Abubakar Adams, and our commitment to supporting our Olympians, the House of Representatives and all its members will make a personal contribution towards the success of the Olympics and to support our Nigerian athletes. Your journey to Paris is not just a quest for medals but a mission to elevate the spirit of our nation. I call on all well-meaning Nigerians to emulate this gesture of the House and support our athletes.

“We are confident in your (athletes) abilities and are certain that the memories of this session will remain fresh in your minds, spurring you on to achieve record-breaking performances. Go to Paris with a clear mindset, dedication and determination to surpass our previous records. We believe in you and know you will make us proud.

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“As you embark on this significant journey, remember that you are ambassadors of Nigeria. Promote our national pride, values and ethos in all your endeavours at the Olympics. The House stands in solidarity with you, praying for your success and wishing you the very best,” Kalu added.

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Similarly, the Chairman, House Committee on Army, Balele Aminu, donated the sum of $2,000 to Team Nigeria.

Some of the Athletes, who spoke during the session, commended the lawmakers for their overwhelming support for the team and promised to make the country proud throughout the sporting event.

The Olympic Games hold from July 26 to August 11.

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De Laurentiis open to €100m, swap deal for Osimhen

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De Laurentiis open to €100m, swap deal for Osimhen

The protracted exit of Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen from Napoli may be over in the next 10 days as the Italian club hopes to complete the deal before the second phase of their pre-season training.

Napoli are prepared to part ways with the 25-year-old, who has a €130m release clause, which has been a clog in his transfer since the start of the summer window.

 

Also read: Osimhen prefers Arsenal, Chelsea to PSG move

 

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According to reports in Italy, PSG don’t want to spend more than €100m for Osimhen, just as Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is open to discussing €100m plus a player swap with the French giants, being the only club to have submitted an offer for the striker.

PSG rejected a €200m offer for Osimhen and Georgia international Khvicha Kvaratskhelia a few days ago, but the Ligue 1 giants are ready to reignite the pursuit of the Nigerian.

According to Il Corriere dello Sport, the Partenopei hope to reach an agreement with the Ligue 1 side within the next ten days.

Gazzetta and Corriere dello Sport also report that PSG may offer €100m soon, but the proposal may include one of their players as well.

On Monday night, Sky Sport Italia also reported that PSG were willing to let Napoli choose between three of their footballers for a player-plus-cash swap deal.

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Corriere dello Sport insists that De Laurentiis expects to sell Osimhen for close to €130m, but is still open to discussing potential swap deals.

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It remains to be seen if Osimhen will fancy a return to France, as he is reportedly interested in joining a Premier League club. Napoli had also expected offers from English clubs, including Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea, but that has not happened.

The former Italian champions are prepared to sell Osimhen and replace him with Romelu Lukaku, so they hope to reach an agreement within the next ten days, before the second part of the pre-season at Castel Di Sangro.

Meanwhile, Osimhen had resumed pre-season training with Napoli, and new coach Antonio Conte was left impressed by his attitude despite not having him in his plans for next season.

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I’ll give my life to Madrid’s success, says Mbappe at unveiling

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I’ll give my life to Madrid’s success, says Mbappe at unveiling

French superstar, Kylian Mbappe, was officially unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Tuesday, telling 80,000 fans “my dream has come true.”

The striker, who had completed his medical earlier on Tuesday morning, signed a five-year contract and was handed a No. 9 shirt by club president, Florentino Perez.

 

Also read: Euro 2024 campaign a failure – Mbappe

 

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“Wow,” Mbappe said in Spanish to roars from a packed Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

“For years, I’ve dreamed of playing for Real Madrid and today, my dream has come true,” said the 25-year-old former Paris Saint-Germain player.

“I’m a happy boy. I’m going to give my life for this club,” said Mbappe.

Accompanied by his parents watching from the crowd and with a former French hero of the club, Zinedine Zidane, in attendance, Mbappe was emotional as the crowd chanted his name, and at one point kissed the jersey of the reigning Spanish and European champions.

Mbappe is “an exceptional player who comes to help us continue winning, a player who today fulfils the dream of his life,” said Perez. “Welcome to your home.”

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•⁠ ⁠Exciting offensive trio –

Although his new teammates began training on Monday, the forward, who captained France during their unsuccessful Euros campaign, will have a few more days off before kicking off his season in the Spanish capital.

The unveiling of Real’s latest Galactico allowed its fans to continue celebrating following Spain’s Euro 2024 triumph on Sunday.

The crowd was expected to be bigger than that 15 years ago when Cristiano Ronaldo was unveiled.

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The free tickets were snapped up rapidly with some fans reportedly trying to resell them to take advantage of the hype surrounding the arrival of arguably the world’s best striker.

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At Real, Mbappe will form part of an offensive trio alongside England midfielder Jude Bellingham and Brazil attacker Vinicius Junior under the watch of veteran Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti.

That prospect is already exciting fans of the club who won their 15th Champions League title in June.

Los Blancos begin the defence of their La Liga crown with a match against Real Mallorca on the weekend of August 17-18.

Mbappe’s debut might have to wait until the following week when Real Madrid face Real Valladolid who were recently promoted from the second division.

Number 9 Mbappe shirts went on sale last Thursday in Real’s club shops which are covered with his image.

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Mbappe arrives after a personally disappointing Euros campaign, where he was overshadowed by Spain’s new teenage sensation Lamine Yamal of Madrid’s rivals Barcelona and France lost to Spanish in the semi-finals.

That followed a difficult season with PSG following his decision not to renew his contract, with the striker — who was the Paris club’s all-time top scorer — admitting he felt “liberated, relieved” by his transfer to Real.

The club is hoping to offset the costs — a salary of at least 15 million euros ($16.3 million) per season and a signing bonus of more than 100 million euros — through sponsorship deals and ticket and merchandise sales.

Mbappe is hoping the move will finally see him win a Champions League and the Ballon d’Or, two of his lifelong objectives.

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