By Sunny Canto
Talents is universal but opportunity is not, for Coach Anthony Asuquo of TIG gymnastic club in Abuja, over a decade now, giving hope to young lads across the country is what matter most.
Akwa Ibom origin, popularly known as Coach Tony, has not relent on his passion and zeal in building future champions, despite several challenges and oppositions, setting a precedence for the younger generation even kids unborn.
According to the TIG boss, "We're gearing up for international event but traveling to Lagos tomorrow ahead of Napoli, Italy Professional Gymnastics League competition billed for 20th-31st November, 2021 which attract prize money for winners and sponsors is paramount" he said.
"If Nigeria will not recognize us, lets see what we can do, because my coaches are trained to groom the talented athletes and people, organizations can support us" he appeal.
"Our register athletes for Lagos training tour are thirty-six, also, we intend using the Body Language and Orbit facilities to get them ready for next month; although we practise four times a week and three hours daily" he disclosed.
"We are also preparing for another prize money tournament by December to enable the vunorable ones go to school and get supported"
Meanwhile, TIG gymnast proved their worth by winning several laurels in different events such as the National Youths Games, National Sports Festival and competition abroad.
In summary, if they get the adequate assistant from government, stakeholders, private and cooperate firms, the sky will be their stepping stone!
HANDBALL: Sam Ocheho led board set to kickoff Prudent Energy Handball League in Abuja
by Sunny Canto
Incredibly, the re-elected Handball Federation of Nigeria President: Mr. Sam Ocheho and his board members has commence work as they were recently inaugurated by Chief Sunday Dare, honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development in Abuja.
The HFN boss and his team, who resume duty with a board meeting, gathered her athletes in ilorin, Kwara State to feature at the just concluded National Youth Games and quickly returned to Abuja for her usual glamorous, digital, branded Prudent Energy Handball League that billed for 20th October till November 3rd at MKO Abiola Stadium.
Meanwhile, all the matches will be played simultaneously at Velodrome Package A and Indoor Sports Hall of Package B at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja; starting from 7am.
Earlier today, the Secretary of the HFN federation, coaches, technical committee, referee's and team representatives held a brief discussion ahead of the schedules in order to ensure hitchfree tournament.
Nonetheless, the Handball Federation of Nigeria under the astute leader of @Sam Ocheho has conducted successful events such as National Division One (Benin), U12/15 Tournament (Sokoto), National Youth Games (ilorin), also dole out palliatives aids to her athletes, friends, supporters during the Covid-19 era.
Featuring in this season are: Safety Babes, Kada Queens, Adorable Angels, Seasiders, Bayelsa Queens, Imo Grasshoppers, Defenders Babes, Plateau Peacocks, Edo Dynamos, Confluence Queens in the women category.
While, Lagos Seasiders, De Defenders, Confluence Stars, Kano Pillars, Kada Stars, COAS, Niger United, Police Machine, Safety Shooters, Plateau Vipers, Sokoto Rima, Tojemarine Academy are the men participating teams in this year edition.
Nevertheless, it will interest you to know that all games will be stream live on YouTube, HFN TV via Facebook with regular update on Twitter, Instagram; stay tuned!
The Handball Federation of Nigeria has released list of the national male and female handball teams that will represent Nigeria in the Handball event at the All Africa Games holding in Morocco.
The list released by the technical director of HFN, coach Ferdinand Emeana, comprise of players playing in the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League and some foreign based players.
The male and female national team had qualified for the All Africa Games when they defeated every other team in the qualifier held in Bukina Faso earlier in the year in April.
The team will leave for Morocco on Friday at 1 am.
The All Africa Games will hold from August 17th to 30th 2019.
AAG TEAM FEMALE
1.Udochukwu Ohaekwe... Israel (Left Back)
2. Isoken Nosa Odia.. Israel (Right Back)
3.Ahamefula Chinemere... Israel (Right Back)
4.Rachael Brown.... Benin Rep. (Center Back)
5.Mercy Audu.... Benin Rep (Left Back)
6.Sunday Hope... Plateau peacocks (Left wing)
7.Cynthia Vincent... Plateau peacocks (Left Wing)
8.Toyin Yusuf... Plateau peacocks (Goal Keeper)
9.Adaobi Okoro... NSCDC (Pivot)
10.Susan Omoluwa... NSCDC (Goal Keeper)
11.Ruth Ameh... NSCDC (Right Wing)
12.Faith Inegbedion... Edo Dynamos (Pivot)
13.Dorathy Nyagh... Benue babes. (Right Back)
14.Muinat Yusuf... Kwara state. (Right Back)
1.Philip Kalu... Israel (Left Back)
2.Obinna Patrick... Israel (Left Back)
3.Obinna Ani... Morocco (Left Back)
4.Faruk Yusuf.. Morocco (Right Wing)
5.Oladunjoye Adams... Qatar (Goal Keeper)
6.Ibitoye Ayomide..... Lagos (Left Wing)
7.Rotibi Gbenga... Lagos (Right Wing)
8.Yahaya Owolabi A... Lagos (Center Back)
9.Adio Ibrahim... Lagos (Pivot)
10.Emeanaa Emmanuel... FRSC (Pivot)
11.Kingsley Okubike... Kano Pillars (Left Back)
12.Emeka Emmanuel... Niger United (Center Back)
13.Anas Mohammed.. Niger United (Left Wing)
14.Solomon Agbaji.. Kano Pilar's. (Goalkeeper)
Rafiu Salami... France
Bala Mohammed.. FRSC
Segun Tunji.. Niger United.
Emeanaa Ferdinand.. Technical Director.
The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) in conjunction with the Handball Federation of Nigeria will organise an intensive IHF technical course for all handball official.
The course which is an International Handball Federation Olympic Solidarity level 13 certified course and also organised alongside the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be handled by IHF instructor Alireza Habibi from Iran.
Mr. HABIBI from arrived Nigeria last night for the IOC/IHF Technical Course scheduled from 23-30 June, 2019 in Abuja.
He was received at the HFN Office this morning by secretary general Alhaji Maigidasanma Mohammed in company of NOC Desk Officer MR DAN GARBA and later, the President of the Taekwando Federation, Madam Margaret at Velodrome in the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The intensive course which will run for six days is opened to all handball coaches in Nigeria.
Fascinated and determined HFN board hosted 16 Commonwealth Handball Association delegates in a three days conference at Hotel De-Bently, Abuja.
Abuja, Nigeria has been made the headquarters of the Commonwealth Handball Association CHA (African Group).
This was decided after the meeting of the group comprising 15 handball playing Commonwealth countries from Africa.
The meeting was presided over by CHA General Secretary, General Ishola Williams retired.
The delegate debated on the new constitution for the body as well on the World Congress/Election of the International Handball Federation billed for Sweden in July.
Speaking on the meeting the Executive Director of CHA Alhaji Jibril Saidu said the African group is an umbrella of 20 Commonwealth countries who shall come together as block during the election in Gothernbourg, Sweden.
He said since the Secretariat of the body is situated in Nigeria, automatically, the new CHA Secretary General that will take over from Gen. Williams according to the constitution must come from Nigeria.
Jibril expressed satisfaction that the 19 countries in attendance have all given Nigeria a go ahead to produce the next Secretary General.
He said the candidate for the position will picked based on experience in sports administration adding that name which is still under wraps will be unveiled after consultations in the sports circle.
He said Nigeria took a lot of positives from the Abuja meeting expressed gratitude to the member countries for their attendance.
Countries such as Zambia, Cameroon, Seychelles, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Rwanda, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and host Nigeria were in attendance at the 3 day old meeting.
Nevertheless, the Nigerian Handball Federation boss, Mr. Sam Ocheho warmly received the contingents who had the privilege to meet some of the athletes, officials, coaches and board members at the just concluded (first phase) of the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League held in package A, National Stadium, Abuja.
More also, the Handball enthusiasts delivered a lecture during the three days meeting on behalf of his Federation as well as a closing remark from his vice Barrister Thompson Kwashi.
Eventually, Nigerian's has develop so much interest in Handball as a result of the hardworking board while the game remain a notable Sports in Africa because of HFN input.
Kano Pillars, Safety Babes clinch top at Prudent Energy Handball Premier League (first phase) in Abuja
Kano Pillars and Safety Babes of Abuja finished top of the men's and women's category at the end of the first phase of the 2019 Prudent Energy Handball Premier League in Abuja.
Kano pillars maintained the summit of the men's event on 20 points from 11 games played. Their only loss was to De Defenders of Abuja where they slipped 18-19 points. Safety Shooters of
Abuja came 2nd, 2 points behind leaders and a point ahead of 3rd placed De Defenders who are on 17 points.
Safety Babes of Abuja topped the women's category on 16 points from 8 matches played, one point ahead of reigning champions Plateau Peacocks then followed by Edo Dynamos who are 3rd on 14 points.
In addition, the motivation and constant willingness to win was as a result of Insurance which was avail to Coaches, Player's at the second edition.
Former President, Handball Federation of Nigeria and former Vice President of the Confederation of African Handball Dr. Lanre Gloval applauded the current board of the federation for taking the game of handball in the country to the next level.
Dr. Lanre added that the future of handball in the country is bright.
President Handball Federation of Nigeria Sam Ocheho expressed satisfaction with the level of the game.
Ocheho went further to commend the players and officials for their technicalities and he assured that the 2nd face in Lagos will be more fantastic.
Reacting to the commendation by Dr. Lanre, Ocheho said he would be glad to more in order to get more that stamp of trust while explaining to election matters, "I want to do more as i focus on my plans for Handball but the electorate will decide" he told.
The national handball team are expected to start camping today and will leave for Georgia soon. Also preparations for the U-21 World cup, U-19 world cup and women's nations cup is underway.
The 2nd phase of he league is slated for October in Lagos later this year.
Nevertheless, the two weeks intensive games has witnessed a massive turnout from all works of life including dancing, live coverage, commentary etctera.
In conclusion, the game which has revived will pave way for more upcoming talents that will definitively replace the ageing ones.
Safety Shooters, Safety Babes On Top At Prudent Energy Handball Premier League Phase one
Safety Shooters moved up to the top summit of the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League Phase one after day 6 matches decided on Sunday at the Velodrome of the Abuja National Stadium.
The F.R.S.C sponsored team defeated Army boys, COAS Shooters 35-29 in a an exciting game that thrilled the fans who were watching inside the velodrome.
Other matches in the men category saw Lagos Seasiders defeat Kada Stars 36-29 while Bornu Spiders victoriously defeated Owena Kings 28-24.
De Defenders overwhelmed Plateau Vipers with a 23-16 victory while Kano Pillars defeated Niger United 23-22 in what was a keenly contested match. This win saw Kano Pillars move up to 12 points same as Safety Shooters but they are second having lesser goals than the FRSC team.
The final game in the men category saw Sokoto Rima comfortably defeating Prison Key Boys 25-17.
In the women category, Safety Babes of FRSC are leading the pack after digging deep to defeat Defender Babes 33-28.
This win takes them to the top of the league standing with 12 points two points above with Imo Grasshoppers who aretied in points with Edo Dynamos.
Edo Dynamos defeated Imo Grasshoppers 25-19 but couldn't leapfrog the Owerri ladies.
They both have 10 points and are second and third respectively in the league standing.
There are no games on Monday as the technical committee will meet take stock and have an evaluation of the running of the league so far.
Lagos Seasiders 36 v 29 Kada Stars
Borno Spiders 28 v 24 Owena Kings
De Defenders 23 v 16 Plateau Vipers
Edo Dynamos 25 v 19 Imo grasshoppers
Kano Pillars 23 v 22 Niger United
Safety Shooters 35 v 29 COAS Shooters
Safety Babes 33 v 28 Defenders Babes
Astonishing moment as the Nigeria Handball Federation board members converged today in a smooth deliberation towards the commencement of the second edition of the Prudent Energy Premier Handball League that is slated for 13th-26th May at the velodrome in National Stadium, Abuja.
Interestingly, the first phase of the largest Handball championship in Nigeria will welcome total of 22 teams with 12 Male and 10 Female teams respectively.
According to Sam Ochoe (Handball Federation of Nigeria), "We are fully ready as the games begin tomorrow with morning and evening sections that will starts by 7:00am-1:00pm and 7:30pm till midnight daily"
He said, "the outcome of this tournament will be taken to Lagos where the final phase will be showcased" Ochoe told newsmen.
However, the difference of this second edition according to the vice chairman NHF Barrister kwashe is the pitch which all games will be played in a secluded indoor gym with new kits, amazing prizes and insurance for the Players, Coaches including the officials of the game.
Speaking also the technical director of NHF sir Ferdinand Imohgan commended the sponsor of the tournament for reviving handball game back to its glory days and in the technical aspect coaches improvement is very important in reshaping the game in Nigeria.
Elsewhere, some of the board members who addressed the Press, "Everyone is ready to put in their best while the Players and Coaching crew look forward to winning waves"
"The end justify the means because the dynamics of the game is consistent winning"
"Handball is developing as we the board members will ensure the player's, officials and coaches are improving"
Nevertheless, the enjoyable Sport in Nigeria will experience a huge turnout after this phase will be played in October at Lagos where the prizes will be given to deserve winners of the league.
Among personalities that attended the meeting are: President of the Federation, vice-president, Secretary, Mrs. Olufunmike Kanjuni, Hon. Umaru, Mr. Abubakar Ahmed and others.
Junior National Handball Teams Arrive After Impressive Outing At IHF international Trophy Challenge
Gallant Cadet And Junior National Handball Teams Arrive Nigeria After Impressive Outing At IHF international Trophy Challenge in Kosovo
The national under 19 and 21 male handball teams arrived Nigeria on Monday night after their outstanding performance at the just concluded IHF International Trophy Challenge in Kosovo.
Receiving them at the Muritala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos was the President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) Mr. Sam Ocheho and some members of the board as well as pressmen.
Ocheho praised the teams for making Nigeria proud and promised that the federation will continue to support the teams.
Alhaji Maigidasanma Mohammed, secretary General of HFN, who is the leader of the delegation to Kosovo thanked all Nigerians for the goodwill messages, prayers and support for the teams.
The national under 19 male handball team came second as they lost narrowly to Chinese Taipei in the final 27-26.
They had played the Chinese Taipeins in the first game of their group 36-18 but bounced back to defeat Paraguay 34-21
The cadet team then defeated Canada 32-25 to advance to the final.
The national under 21 male handball team, meanwhile defeated Australia 37-21 in a classification match to finish fifth in the under 21 category.
The junior male national team had lost out in the preliminary stage as they suffered slim defeats to Chinese Taipei and host, Kosovo.
All Africa Senior Badminton Championships: Nigeria win four gold to emerge champions
Team Nigeria have established their dominance on the continent after they clear the stable to emerge champions of the 2019 All Africa Senior Badminton Championships which ended in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Sunday.
Nigeria won four gold medals, two silver and four bronze to top the medal table.
The team had earlier secured the most coveted gold medal in the team event on Thursday and followed that up with further three gold medals in the individual championships.
Top stars Anuoluwapo Opeyori and Dorcas Adesokan produced the most stunning shows after they dethroned Georges Paul and Kate Foo Kune from Mauritius in the men's and women's singles respectively.
Mauritius' Kune had reigned as African champion since 2014; she even beat Adesokan in the final of the last edition in Algeria, but she met a determined Nigerian this time, who showed grit to hand down to her a 21-12, 21-13 defeat in the final of women's singles.
In the men's singles, Godwin Olofua, ranked third in Africa, had shockingly defeated top seed, Paul, in the semi-finals to set up all Nigerian affairs final with Opeyori.
It was a thrilling encounter between two friends and mates but Opeyori won 21-17, 16-21, 21-17 to claim his maiden African title.
It was also an Nigerian affairs in the women's doubles as the pair of Adesokan and Deborah Ukeh defeated Amin Christopher and Chineye Ebere.
In the mixed doubles, Algeria's duo of Koceila Mammeri and Linda Mazri successfully defended the title they won last year at home when they defeated Nigeria's Enejo Abbah and Peace Orji 15-21, 21-16, 21-18.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has expressed satisfaction with the organization of the tournament and the performance of Team Nigeria.
He announced a reward of $100,000 for Team Nigeria for their efforts in the competition.
"The President of the Badminton Confederation of Africa just told me that this is the best tournament they have ever conducted; that's is a every encouraging one. We are happy to grab the opportunity of hosting this event and our government will continue to support badminton and of course sports in general," he said.
Adesokan described her performance as the best in her career. "Anytime I want to play against her I was always jittery but I told myself that had to change this time. I have done it, Kate will never beat me again," she said.
More also, she proved her worth with an excellence performance when Deborah Ukeh pair with her to beat their compatriot Chineye Ebere and Amin Yop Christopher in a game that finished 21-14, 21-17.
In the Men's doubles Isaac Minahpee and Eneja Abah conceded defeat to Algeria duo of Kociela Mammeri and Youcef Sabri Madel as they won with a slim margin 21-17, 21-17.
In a nut shell, team Nigeria came first with 4 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze medals while Algeria emerged second with 2 gold thereby leaving Mauritius at third position with 2 silver medals.
Adding ice to the cake was Music interlude, awards dole out to Vips, mascot display, raffle draws, certificate given to player's and umpires including dancing competition.
Finally, whatever that have a start must have an end, as CBA draw the cotton to a close tonight with the Minister of Sports, BCA president, Rivers State governor, BCA secretary-general, Hon. Igale, Emir from North and Rivers State Sports commissioner, Comr. Sirawoo among others dignitaries were all in attendance at the closing ceremony in Port-Harcourt; Nigeria.
Sunny Canto the Sports enthusiast.