The Nigerian Scrabble Federation (NSF) says it is introducing a new level of scrabble tournament titled; “Scrabble In The Jungle”, which would start from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28.The NSF said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Lagos.The body said that the tournament would involve a selection of eight top ranked players in NSF.It also said that the tournament would include four wildcard nominees, who would compete over a 36-round of games.According to the federation, the tournament will take place in a closed location where the nominees will be for three days.“The 12 players would be kept in a boot-camp like arrangement in a controlled space, where the juggernauts will test their prowess against one another at a highly competitive level.“The heavyweights will hunt for points on the boards with different strategies as they square up against one another in what has been described by many as a blockbuster showpiece,” it said.The body said that supporters would also be given the chance to adopt any of the players who they bet could go on to win the title and the grand prize money at the end of the show.Musa Olasupo, President of Scrabble Las Vegas, the organisers of the Scrabble In The Jungle Series, said that the desire to raise the stakes and make the sport more attractive and sustainable, birthed the new variant of scrabble event which would be the first in the world.“The Scrabble In The Jungle is a boot camp arrangement where we keep players under one roof to live, eat and drink scrabble for three days,” he said.“Our focus is to encourage competitive scrabble that will reward excellence.This is maiden edition.It will feature the top eight players, according to NSF July ratings and four wildcards.“Management of Vegas have discretionary powers on the four wildcards, but we hope to make the players of equal strength,” Olasupo said.According to him, the tournament willg row to a level where they can muscle enough resources to have live viewings, eliminations and other innovations to make it bigger and more glamourous.Nigeria remains the best scrabble playing nation in the world and also successfully became the first African nation to win the World English Language Speaking Scrabble Players Association Championship (WESPAC) when Wellington Jighere made history in Perth, Australia in 2015.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Delta Government on Wednesday night unveiled the 21st National Sports Festival Logo and Mascot, in Asaba.Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, who is also the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while performing the function, said the state would host and win the competition to maintain its sports dominance in the country.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the mascot called ”UZO”, symbolises Delta‘s physical power, strength, ferocity and focus.He said hosting the festival tagged “Delta 2022” with theme “Uniting Nigeria, inspiring the next generation” was in recognition of the role of Delta as a leader and role model in sports in the country.According to Okowa, the choice of Delta as host of Nigeria’s version of the Olympic Games was in recognition of the state’s pioneering role in sports growth and development, which has made it a role model and a leader in the country.“Delta as you are well aware, has won every edition of the National Youth Games and National Sports Festival in the past five years to confirm its position as the number one sporting State.“We intend to continue this leadership as Delta hosts the entire sportsmen and women across the length and breadth of our country.“Let me also state that Delta was primed to host the 20th edition of the festival but lost its bid to our sister State, Edo, at the very last minute in Abuja.“As a sports-loving state, we were not discouraged in our quest to bring home to roost, this sporting extravaganza we have dominated for a long time. We are also positioned to be number one in the hosting of the games.“However, as the nation looks forward to seeing Delta host our sportsmen and women to this feast, I can assure you that we are doing our best to host a most memorable competition in the annals of the festival.”The governor added, “we are guided by our excellent hosting of the 21st Senior Africa Athletics Competition in August 2018 in Asaba, which received a global ovation, because of our facilities and our hospitality to our guests on that occasion.“We have resolved to do even more this time around.“We are already updating our facilities and putting in place, new ones of international standards, because of the multi- dimensional nature of the festival,” he said.Okowa said that the security of athletes and officials was a top priority and urged intending participants to feel free to savour the state’s hospitality.On his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare lauded Delta State for providing 61 percent of athletes in the national teams.He said beyond oil, Delta has another gold in sports and talents development and commended the state for it.“I have been a Minister of Youth and Sports for three years but I have seen seven years of Gov. Okowa’s investments in sports development.“Okowa, you tower above your colleagues in sports development and I call on you not to rest on your oars because you keep inspiring us.“The National Sports Festival is a celebration of Nigerian athletes irrespective of tribe and religion and today’s event which entails branding of the festival is the very essence and symbol of our unity in diversity.“The festival is a tool for the promotion of unity of our country and we recall that when Delta won the hosting rights, we were pleased because we know we have a governor who is not afraid to break new grounds and lift the stakes higher.“In this year’s competition, Delta will be hosting what we term the ‘Nigerian Olympics’ and 40 different events would be competed for in 14 days with 16,700 athletes attending,” he said.He called for private sectors collaboration and investments in sports infrastructure in order to unlock the multi-billion dollar business potentials in sports in the country.Also, the Managing Director of Premium Trust Bank, Emmanuel Emefienem, said the bank was pleased to identify with the Festival as sponsors and official banker.He said the contribution of sports to unity and progress of the nation couldn’t be over-emphasised.The Chairman of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, said the timeliness for the festival was designed to ensure a successful hosting of the games.Abubakar, represented by the Secretary of MOC, Dr Peter Nelson, commended the state government and the local organising committee for their efforts in ensuring a success for the games which would be held 4th-13th November, 2022.He said the Mascot and the logo represents the identity of the game in line with international best practices shall be used to brand all materials that will be used for the games.In his address of welcome, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), Chief Patrick Ukah, said the unveiling signals the beginning and launching of images for merchandising of the event.NAN reports that the NSF started and staged in 1973 at the National Stadium, Surulere in Lagos, was originally conceived as a “unifying tool” with the main purpose of promoting peace and cross-cultural affiliation in Nigeria after the Nigerian Civil War in 1970.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has charged the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) to train and mentor young players.
Dare said this in Abuja on Monday while hosting Nigeria’s scrabble team, following their successful outing at the just-concluded West African Scrabble Championship in Accra, Ghana.
The team, which included 15 players, coaches and a few administrators, returned after winning nine out of the 10 titles up for grabs at the event.
The minister, while congratulating the team for their efforts at the event, pledged more support for the federation.
“As a government, we will renew our commitment and support to you. You can come and share your programmes with us and we will try to provide funding, where necessary.
“I look forward to seeing more competitions and want to be part of what you do.
“I want to come and see the players where they are sweating it out in training and not when they arrive or want to depart for competitions.
“I also charge you to mentor young potential scrabble players.
“As you are champions, it is only right to train other people to follow in your footsteps, such that Nigeria will always be a force to be reckoned with in scrabble globally,” Dare said.
On his part, NSF President, Olabatoke Aka, said he was delighted to present a winning team to the minister, promising that the federation would not rest on its oars in promoting the game.
“We have made world champions, African champions and more champions out of scrabble. We went to Accra and scooped nine out of 10 titles there.
“It was like a revenge of what the Ghanaian team did to us here in Abuja few years ago.
“I am delighted to say that we have about 38 scrabble clubs across the country and we will begin a national league very soon.
“We are thankful to the minister for his support and hope that we will continue to do the country proud,’’ Aka said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Eta Karo was the winner of the four-nation event, which had Nigeria, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and host nation Ghana as participants.
The Department of Water and Sanitation is organizing a faecal sludge management workshop with all stakeholders in water and sanitation in the Northern Cape. The workshop will be held at Dawid Kruiper's local township in Upington on Thursday 12th May 2022.
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has advanced in the development of the National Faecal Sludge Management Strategy (NFSMS) for non-sewer sanitation systems, the National Integrated Sanitation Plan (NSIP) and the National Framework of Sanitation (NSF). The consultative workshop will be a platform to share and solicit input from all stakeholders in the Northern Cape to further advance the framework.
As a result of disparities and inequity in access to sanitation services, unintended consequences of sewer spills and other sanitation challenges, NFSMS, NSF and NSIP will be geared to implement radical changes in the water and sanitation sector .
Some of the issues under scrutiny are sanitation norms and standards that need to be reviewed and adapted to address faecal sludge disposal, dignity, especially of women, the elderly and girls.
Another thorn in the flesh has been the eradication of bucket toilets which have become a moving target due to the proliferation of informal settlements. Better forms of sanitation in terms of regulations and standards will need to be implemented and enforced to ensure the total eradication of bucket toilets.
In addition, there is a need to strengthen support to water service authorities such as municipalities, which could be done through collaboration and partnerships in the water and sanitation sector. Community participation will also be strengthened through improved water and sanitation forums.
By Nicholas Obisike
The Enugu State Government on Friday celebrated Rangers International FC and its teeming supporters over the club’s great exploits since it was founded in 1970.
The ceremony was combined with the launch of a book, entitled “The New Dawn”, in Enugu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the book was written by the club’s supporter, Mr Basil Ojengwa.
Speaking at the event, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said: “Rangers still remain the pride of the Igbo people.
“It is a thing of honour that the aim of establishing Rangers is still on course.
“It was God’s doing that in 2016, Rangers won the Nigeria Football League trophy and followed it up with the Aiteo Cup in 2018,” he said.
Ugwuanyi said that the Aiteo Cup victory was a miracle, saying: “I called it the Miracle of Asaba.
“I recall that Rangers are a football club like no other formed in the then East Central State.
“Rangers FC announced its arrival in the Nigeria soccer space with the win of a national soccer competition and qualification for the African Cup of Champions Clubs.
“This unprecedented superlative entry behaviour, a record no other club had set in Nigerian soccer history, underscored the legendary fighting spirit of the club.
“Little wonder Rangers are reckoned as the “Pride of the East” and “Flying Antelopes.”
The governor paid special tribute to the founders of the club, past and present Rangers’ players for defending the colour of the club.
Reviewing the book, a lawmaker, Mr Chima Obieze, representing Ezeagu State Constituency at the State House of Assembly, said the book is all about Rangers glory in football.
“It started from evolution of football to how Rangers FC was formed after the civil war by Jerry Enyiazu,” he said.
He said the book narrated how Rangers waited for 32 years for trophy and how it came to an end in 2016 with the nation’s league trophy.
The author of the book, Mr Basil Ojengwa, said that determination remained the backbone of progress and a tool for achievement.
According to him, history will not forgive us, if we do not appreciate and document Rangers’ achievements, especially of late when it seems that the club has been forgotten.
“Rangers are the pride of the Igbo nation and international club that has held its own in Nigeria and Africa,” he said.
In a vote of thanks, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Manfred Nzekwe, thanked the governor for revitalising sports in the state.
He described Ugwuanyi as a sports-loving governor, whose performance went beyond soccer to other sports in the state.
Nzekwe attributed the state’s performance at the National Sports Festival (NSF): Edo 2020, where the state won seven medals, to Ugwuanyi’s support.
He said, “Enugu used to go to NSF with lots of sports without much medals to show at the end but this time we went with only four sports and won seven medals.”
NAN reports that Rangers had won Nigeria League trophy seven times, Federation Cup six times and Continental Cup once since its 51 years in the round leather game . (NAN)(NAN)
By Olukayode Babalola
The Nasarawa Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) called for the revival of school sports competition in the state.
This is contained in a statement written by its members, Eche Amos, Smah George and Esther Akaa, at the end of the association's monthly congress, which was held in Lafia on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the SWAN congress called for the revival of school sports throughout the state for the discovery of talent and to improve the academic performance of students.
Congress congratulated the Nasarawa team for their outstanding performance at the recent National Sports Festival Edo 2020 (NSF), where they won 22 medals.
Congress also commended Nasarawa Governor Abdullahi Sule for his unwavering support for sport and youth development, urging him to keep up the pace.
"We also welcome the various sports initiatives of the Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, led by the Commissioner, Othman Bala-Adam, to bring athletes to the national and international podium", did he declare.
Congress then condemned the attack on one of the Nasarawa team buses in the village of Akeleku, near Lafia, while returning from the NSF in Edo.
"We take this opportunity to salute the bravery of the escort personnel and driver of the Nigeria Civil Defense and Security Corps for saving the lives of the contingents," the statement read.
Congress, however, called on the state government to increase security checkpoints on the Lafia-Makurdi highway in order to curb cases of incessant theft along the route.
To usher in a new leadership for the association, Congress established a three-man committee to lead the state chapter election over the next two weeks. (NOPE)(NAN)
By Shedrack Frank
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa congratulated the state contingent on the recently concluded National Sports Festival (NSF), Edo 2020, as it received an enthusiastic welcome in Yenagoa on Friday.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the state placed third at the end of the festival with 56 gold, 55 silver and 58 bronze, a feat it achieved for the first time in its history at the festival.
Receiving the contingent at the entrance to Government House, Diri congratulated them for making the state proud of their spectacular performance.
Diri said it was heartwarming that they surpassed the previous record for fourth place set in 2006 at the NSF in Abeokuta, Ogun when he was commissioner of youth and sports.
He urged the athletes to start preparations for the next festival scheduled for Delta in 2022 and pledged to give them the support they need for a better outing.
Diri described as trivial and unverified allegations that the state has been denied certain medals for the state of origin and the nationality of some of its athletes.
He said his natives represented the state at the festival and that there was no ounce of truth in such claims.
“Allow me on behalf of the government and the good people of Bayelsa to congratulate you. Not only did you make yourself proud, but you also made the people of Bayelsa and, indeed, the Ijaw race proud.
“This is just the beginning. Coming in third, you received an eagle trophy. What that tells you is that you have to go get the eagle next time.
“So, preparations for the next festival will resume from tomorrow. This is the only way you can beat your record again next year when you go for NSF in Delta.
“When you were about to leave, I gave you a charge. While I was the Youth and Sports Commissioner between 2006 and 2007, we had a record. For the first time, Bayelsa clinched the fourth position at the NSF in Abeokuta.
“My responsibility to you was to beat this record. Today you made me proud by beating this record. In Bayelsa's story, you came home with an NSF trophy.
“We will announce a date on which your government will officially receive you. For now, welcome and congratulations to Youth and Sports Development Commissioner Daniel Igali, the Sports Director, to the other officials, to the coaches and to our great athletes, ”he said.
Introducing the 300 athletes as well as the officials, Igali said the state has won gold in virtually every event he has attended.
According to Igali, the Bayelsa team exceeded everyone's expectations, including his own, that of the directors and management of the Sports Ministry.
He said one of the female athletes, Ifiezibe Gagbe, single-handedly won 8 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze, totaling 15 medals in swimming.
The commissioner, who presented the trophy won by the contingent to the governor, said the state was ready to surpass the feat at the next festival.
He thanked the Governor for the massive support and motivation of the team before and during the matches in Edo. (NOPE)(NAN)
By Nicholas Obisike
Some athletes who represented Enugu State at the just concluded National Sports Festival (NSF) in Edo called on the state government to improve the well-being of its athletes.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that Enugu State placed 22nd on the final table with seven medals including three gold, one silver and three bronze.
Meanwhile, the athletes, who spoke to NAN on Friday in Enugu,
blamed their poor performance at the event on insufficient government engagement.
One of the athletes, Silver Ezeikpe, noted that the state government must do everything it can to retain its top athletes.
Ezeikpe, who is the head coach of Para Athletic but who competed and won the gold medal at the festival, said the state contingent did not have good preparation for the event.
He said, however, that the athletes performed well given their level of preparedness and the government's inability to take good care of them before and during the festival.
According to him, the athletes did well as they won seven medals at the NSF.
He said the 2021 edition of the NSF was the first time that athletes in the state have won up to seven medals.
Ezeikpe said the state competed in five sports, adding that the para-athletes won two medals.
In addition, Kelly Obayemi, a super heavy boxer, called on the state government to take good care of their athletes for better performance to come.
Obayemi, who won the silver medal in super heavyweight boxing, said he felt sad about losing the final fight.
Obayemi said some of the athletes would have done better if some officials from the state Sports Ministry had accompanied them to the event.
When contacted, a director of the ministry, Boniface Onovo, said the state government was able to meet 80% of the athletes' needs before they left for the NSF.
Onovo said the state was represented by 50 delegates made up of 38 athletes and 12 officials.
“Our performance this year is much better than the previous ones as we only won one medal in each outing. Our athletes surprised us because we haven't had it so well for many years, ”said Onovo. (NOPE)(NAN)
By Mercy Obojeghren
Delta Governor Ifeanyi Okowa congratulated the state contingent at the recently concluded 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Edo, on the new winners at the Games.
In a statement by his chief press secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, Thursday in Asaba, the governor congratulated the contingent on their exceptional performance and for maintaining the state's winning streak at the sports festival.
According to him, the Delta team has once again brought credit to the state by winning the competition for the sixth consecutive time.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate the members of the victorious Delta team for once again bringing honor to our great state with their sixth consecutive NSF victory.
“As I said before you left for Benin for the games, you all went through difficult times to prepare for the 20th edition of the festival.
“I am glad that by the grace of God, with discipline, perseverance and motivation, you have brought the trophy home again.
“Although we had some tough competition from the host, we were able to maintain our unassailable lead, and we give God all the glory.
“Let me assure you that because you have kept your own side of the market by winning the competition again, the state government remains irrevocably committed to rewarding medalists in the competition,” Okowa said.
He praised the state athletic commission and the Delta team coaches for leading the contingent to victory.
The governor also praised the Edo government for not only hosting the festival after several postponements, but for doing so successfully.
The competition's defending champion Delta team topped the table with 158 gold, 126 silver and 110 bronze, winning a total of 394 medals.
The host, Edo, came second with 129 gold, 104 silver and 108 bronze, while Bayelsa won 56 gold, 55 silver and 58 bronze to place third . (NOPE)(NAN)
By Ijeoma Okigbo
Paul Edeh, president of Naija Ratels FC, said on Thursday that the club's presence at the National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin was aimed at supporting the development of women's football and grassroots sport.
Naija Ratel FC is a championship team of the Nigerian Women's Football League (NWFL).
Edeh, who was represented by Bankole Oloowokere, coach of the Abuja-based women's soccer team, told the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) that they were also in Benin for a training tour and to have an impact on the life of the little girl.
The president of Naija Ratels FC previously presented personalized match balls to the women's teams in Edo and Lagos states to become the winners and runners-up at the just concluded festival football event.
“The reason we are in Benin is simply to show our support for grassroots development, especially for women's football.
“I am amazed at the number of football talents that we have seen in this festival and I know the stakeholders are amazed at the level of development of women's football in the country.
“We have also decided to show our support by presenting personalized Naija Ratels match balls to the finalists in the women's event.
"It was just to encourage them to keep playing sports, especially football," Edeh said.
NAN reports that Edo State won the women's football event in the final at the University of Benin on Monday, while the Lagos team finished second.
The NSF which started on April 2 ended on Wednesday. (NOPE)(NAN)