Championship promoter Usman Ahmed, who is also the president of Smash Icons Badminton, said the goal of the event is to promote love among badminton veterans.
Ahmed pointed out that “Smash Icons”, a badminton brand, was introduced to spread the game on the bases, especially in the FCT.
“I have been in the game for 20 years. ‘Smash Icon’ is a badminton brand that we are presenting and this is the first edition.
“We invited 17 clubs and 14 attended and this is encouraging. There are four categories for each game and the four categories will feature a pair of players each.
“We intend to promote badminton and take it outside of Africa. We are starting with badminton clubs and then we will collaborate with the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, ”said Ahmed.
The convener of the championship, Vivian Onwukwe, urged the government to encourage the development of the game in schools with a strong sports curriculum.
Onwukwe regretted that most elementary school students and high school students prefer to play basketball, volleyball or soccer instead of badminton.
“When you ask children at school what sports they want to play, they will tell you soccer, volleyball, basketball; You will rarely see someone calling you badminton, and that is why we are preparing this event.
“We need awareness for badminton to thrive in the country.
“I have not seen badminton courts in schools, only soccer fields and basketball courts are seen, and that is why we are using Kubwa Model High School 111 for this event,” he added.
Onwukwe also said badminton kits can be allowed and should not be seen as a game for the elites.
She added; “The kits are not expensive. You can start with your canvas, the N3500 students’ racket, and the kids get older, they can get professional rackets. “
ABCIN FCT Chapter President Mohammed Bello, the club’s Public Relations representative, said efforts to popularize badminton in schools within the FCT are intensifying.
Bello said that the association has also sponsored some FCT players to international competitions.
Player Hajo Sale, representing the City Gate Badminton Association, said her goal is to win gold in all of her categories.
“I just finished my game and the applause was incredible. We need to encourage more women to participate in badminton.
“Tournaments like this should be organized to encourage the players, especially the women.
“I have participated in 15 tournaments in two years and the lowest I got in these tournaments was bronze. My last tournament was gold.
Speaking along the same lines, Haruna Aris, a male player representing the Gwagwalada Badminton Club, said the game’s refereeing was fair.
Aris, who also praised the organizers for organizing a proper championship, called for the establishment of academies to help develop the sport.
“Children should be encouraged to start playing badminton from an early stage. Sponsors are needed to sponsor children from the age of 10, just as China and other countries do for academies.
“If we can have badminton academies, it will change the fortunes of the sport.
“And the Nigerian Badminton Federation should find a way to partner with the kit-making companies in China and get kits for the academy kids at subsidized prices as a way to cheer them on.
“Professional players can also benefit from that partnership,” Aris said.
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