–As Pioneer Chairperson Marks 52nd Birthday
By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
Efforts to resuscitate the game of Netball in Nigeria fifty years after it was excluded from the All African Games as a result of inactivity , kicked off on Wednesday in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital with the unveiling of the game and constitution of a Stirring Committee, Nigeria Netball Association to bring back the glory of the once most popular sports after football in Nigeria.
The unveiling of the game and inauguration of the Oyo state Stirring Committee of Oyo State Netball Association at the Basket Indoor Court , Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Liberty road, Oke-Ado , Ibadan coincided with the 52nd birthday anniversary of the State pioneering Netball Stirring Committee Chairperson , Ambassador Rahmat Romoke Ayinde JP , Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kayrom Lee Gym And Fitness Center Nigeria Limited, Ibadan
On her address, the celebrant Ambassador Rahmat Ayinde, a businesswoman , entrepreneur and sports philanthropist said the resuscitated sport, as the is targeted at human development and economic buoyancy of the state and Nigeria in general.
She said ” Netball was one of the many sports in Nigeria with international recognition. Since its cancellation at the 1973 All Africa Games for inactivity, it became a stranger to the Nigerian system. In order to win back what used to be our own, the reason we are all gathered here for action. So, as we are propelled to gear forward to bring back the glory of the game of Netball
” I urge us all to be fully prepared and bring into the Nigeria Sports Federation through the Oyo State Netball Association or Nigeria to dominate the game in Africa and worldwide”
” What a coincidence! In an attempt to resuscitate Netball in Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general, this same date, October 18, which I cherish so much was picked by the Organizing Committee for the unveiling of
Ayinde who is also the Iyalaje of Oyo State, noted that sports have been a unifying factor in the country adding that ” the devclopment of Netball, especially, in Oyo State is a necessity and take it to greater heights to dominate the
International Scene is a task that must be done”.
In his remarks, the State Chairman , Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Niyi Alebiosu while congratulating the celebrant on her birthday anniversary prayed for her successful tenure as the newly appointed Oyo State Stirring Committee Chairperson of the Nigeria Netball Association charging her to take the responsibility as a challenge as stakeholders expectation is to see the Oyo state netball team feature at the national level.
He advised the association to attract young talented female students in secondary schools to the game through trainings as well as organising seminars for coaches .
The Public Relation Officer of the Oyo State Netball Association, Kenny Ogunmiloro said the unveiling of the game marks a revolution in the Sports industry assuring that with support from the state government and stakeholders, Netball has come to stay in the state.
In the same vein, renowned gospel singer , Evangelist Funmi Aragbaye while congratulating the celebrant, called on the management of the Obafemi Awolowo stadium to improve on the facilities for the wellbeing of the people of the state. adding that the facility deserves the attention of bother the federal and state government.
The colourful event featured the official demonstration of Netball game, commissioning of a laboratory built by Ambassador Rahmat Ayinde which is aimed at improving the scientific knowledge of the beneficiaries at the Imperial Initiative for Human Development (IIHD) and fundraising for a proposed Technical College, a school designed for bringing novel ideas into practical use for further human development
Other event are the unveiling of Youth Radio-Vision Station established for youths to express their creative abilities in a positive way; and launching of two books “Fundamentals Of Healthy Living” and “Bayonet Poverty” by the celebrant
In attendance at the epoch- making occasion are the wife of popular gospel singer and entrepreneur, Evangelist Yinka Ayefele , Dr. (Mrs) Temitope Ayefele, Dr (Mrs) Kehinde Oyebode, Director Nursing Services, Oyo State Ministry of Health who represented the Commissioner for Health, Assistant Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) C. O Aluko, Oyo state Commissioner of Police represented by CSP Jayeola Martins and the Oyo State Coordinator, NACOMYO, Alhaji Daud Afolabi among others.
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