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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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Trey Haun receives hero’s welcome at Mamprugu Palace after winning 2 medals in Unicycling

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Roger ‘Trey’ Haun III, the young Nalerigu-based white rider, has presented the medals he won at the Unicycling World Championships to the Paramount Chief of Mamprugu.

Trey, who won two medals at the Unicycling World Championships, was given a hero’s welcome on his return to the North East Region.

Last week, Trey wrote his name in the history books by winning Ghana’s first-ever medals at the Unicycling World Championships.

The young rider, who was born in the United States but has been living in Ghana for the past nine years with his father, won silver and bronze medals at the Championships.

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He bested his competitors in the 30m Wheel Walk Race for males between 15 and 16 years and finished second to win a silver medal.

The teenager again put up a brave performance in the 50m One-Wheel Race and scooped a bronze medal after finishing third.

On his return to Ghana, Trey visited the Mamprugu Palace to present his medals to the Paramount Chief of the community.

“Our #Mamprusi community greeted us with great fanfare today,” his father William Haun wrote on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of Trey at the Palace.

“And Naa Bɔhagu, paramount chief of #Mamprugu, received his son Manboora Trey Haun as he returned home with two #Unicycling World Championship medals for #Ghana.”

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Unicycling is a sport practice that is not much known in Ghana, but includes more than 35 different disciplines such as collective, individual, artistic or extreme sports.

This year’s Championship is currently ongoing in Grenoble, France, with thousands of athletes converging to participate.

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Man City’s Mendy Goes On Trial For Rape And Sexual Assault

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Manchester City and France footballer Benjamin Mendy on Wednesday began his trial for the alleged rape and assault of seven women, which could see his playing career end in jail if convicted.

Mendy, 28, arrived at Chester Crown Court in northwest England wearing a dark blue suit and tie to face eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, relating to seven young women.

Flanked by an interpreter in the dock, the French player spoke in English to confirm his identity.

He pleaded not guilty in May to nine of the charges, and not guilty on Wednesday to a subsequent rape count that had not yet been put to him in court.

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All the alleged offences are said to have taken place at Mendy’s home address in Prestbury near Macclesfield, also in northwest England, between October 2018 and August last year.

He is standing trial before a jury along with his co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, who has also pleaded not guilty.

Matturie denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault, relating to eight young women. His alleged offences span from July 2012 to August last year.

Both the defendants are on bail, with Mendy subject to what a judge previously called “stringent” conditions, including the surrender of his passport.

After his arrest last August he was initially held at Altcourse prison in Liverpool, and then a prison in Manchester, before being freed on bail in January.

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The trial is due to last 15 weeks, with the prosecution set to open its case on Monday.

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None of the women said to have been assaulted can be named under English law, which also places restrictions on what can be reported about the case.

It begins in the same week that former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs started his trial on charges of assaulting and coercively controlling his ex-girlfriend.

Mendy joined Premier League champions City from the French side of Monaco in 2017. He has played 75 times for the Manchester club, but his playing time was limited by injuries and a loss of form.

He was suspended by City after being charged by police in August.

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The last of Mendy’s 10 international caps came in November 2019, after the defender picked up a World Cup winner’s medal after playing just 40 minutes of France’s successful 2018 campaign in Russia.

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Costa Rica 2022: Falconets seek three precious points against France

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Two-time runners-up and one-time semi-finalists Nigeria are upbeat about scooping the three points when they go up against one of Europe’s top teams, France in the opening match of Group C of this year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals in San Jose on Thursday night.

Head Coach Christopher Danjuma minces no words about his faith in the high-scoring Falconets delivering on Thursday and afterward: “The World Cup stage is about players’ mentality; we have prepared the team very well in that area. You have to go out there, aim to be the best, and work hard to be the best. It is not a picnic. I believe that these girls will do Nigeria proud.

“Playing seven matches in the African qualifying series toughened the team very well, and we have also worked on their psyche. Nigeria has never been an also-ran at this level. Having reached the final twice and made the semi-finals once, the Falconets have pedigree in this championship. We cannot afford to falter. We will take it one match at a time, beginning with the game against France.”

Danjuma, who also led the team to the last tournament in France four years ago, where they lost narrowly to Spain (1-2) in the quarter-finals, is banking on the experience of the captain and central defender Oluwatosin Demehin, the lively midfield orchestra of Esther Onyenezide, Deborah Abiodun and Adoo Yina, and the ever-potent forward line of Flourish Sabastine, Mercy Idoko and Joy Jerry.

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First choice Monle Oyono is expected to be in goal against the French team, with wingbacks Omowunmi Oshobukola and Jumoke Alani also favoured to retain their places.

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In the African qualifying series, the rampant Falconets hit 11 goals past the hapless Central African Republic in the second round and spanked the Republic of Congo 4-0 in Brazzaville –with the consequence that the Congolese failed to turn up for the return leg in Nigeria.

They then routed Cameroon 3-0 on aggregate in the fourth round. The final qualifying fixture against Senegal was effectively over after Flourish Sabastine hit a hat-trick away in Thies before the home team got a consolation goal from the spot late in the game.

On Thursday, Danjuma will be goading his girls to summon every sinew of strength, skill, and savvy in them to overpower France and collect three points that will stabilize their campaign and empower their quest to go all the way.

“It will not be easy but we have what is known as the special ‘Nigeria spirit’ and we will go in there with confidence and belief in what we can do. We will play to our strengths – firm at the back and clinical at the fore.”

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Falconet’s Games
Vs France – Thursday, 11th August – Estadio Nacional – 12 midnight
Vs Korea Republic – Sunday, 14th August – Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto – 9 pm
Vs Canada – Thursday, 18th August – Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto – 3 am

Groups
Group A: Costa Rica, Australia, Spain, Brazil
Group B: Germany, Colombia, New Zealand, Mexico
Group C: France, Nigeria, Canada, Korea Republic
Group D: Japan, The Netherlands, Ghana, USA

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