Rivers Gears Up For African Badminton Championship
The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) has expressed its preparedness to host and win the top spot in the All African Senior Badminton Championship to be held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
President of the federation, Francis Orbih, who addressed the media in Port Harcourt, said the event will hold on April 22-25 with 18 countries participating in the tournament.
Orbih expressed delight that the championship that was last held in the country, 19 years ago is being staged in Port Harcourt. He said the choice of the Garden City for the games was because of the excellent and World Class facilities available at the Diette Spiff Civic Centre in the city.
The BFN President added that Nigeria, which is presently ranked No.2, in Africa behind Mauritius will be presenting a contingent of 18 players and 3coaches who will be camped for training at the University of Port Harcourt.
He commended the Rivers State government for its support in hosting the champion. The president told sports reporters that for the first time, the championship will be used a criteria for qualification to the next Olympics games, adding that the best Badminton players in Africa will be participating in the tournament.
“This championship means a lot to Nigeria and we will be hosting to win”, the president stated.
Chairman Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the championship, Charles Fingesi assured that every arrangement has been made to make the event memorable in Rivers State.
Commissioner for sports, Hon Boma Iyayi, represented by Mrs Midred Hart and Director in the Ministry game assurance of the preparedness of the government to provide adequate security and other logistics for a the success of the championship.
The Vortex sports correspondent gathered that Team Nigeria players are already in camp intensifying training and in high spirit to ensure they win the championship.
It was also learnt that finishing touches are on-going at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Sports Complex Badminton Hall venue for the tournament, which was test-run during the first Governor Wike National Badminton Championship last December.
Our correspondent further gathered that members of the All Africa Badminton Championship Main Organizing Committee are expected in the state to inspect the facilities, level of preparation as well as to unveil the mascot for the championship.
In a chat with Sports Journalists in Port Harcourt, the Chairman of Rivers State Badminton Association, Doma Musa said, the stage is set for Nigeria to host the tournament and emerged champions as the association and the players are leaving no stone unturned in their guest to achieve their goal.
Musa disclosed that the players who are currently in camp for the training at the University of Port Harcourt are determined to make Nigeria proud, while in case of any injury or health challenge, there is a stand-by medical team to take care of such issues at the camp.
The Association Chairman expressed delight with the State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike for his passion in promoting sports development in the state as well as in the country and appealed to him to keep the flag flying as the Power of Sports Africa (POS Africa).