Edo 2020: Rivers Abula, Kick Boxing Teams Promise Gold
The Rivers State Abula Team who won gold medals in the male, female and mixed-doubles at the National Sports Festival in Lagos in 2012 has boasted that they would defend their titles.
The State Abula coach, Hakeem Kareem in a chat with our sports correspondent after a training session in Port Harcourt said among most team that the Abula team that is ready to show-case their skills and make the state proud at any tournament, noting that their greatest challenge had been lack of encouragement.
Coach Kareem noted that their training pitch at the Alfred Diete-Sports Complex Port Harcourt is not conducive as after the renovation of the complex, there is no pole to hang the net, stating that they are still using equipments from the last sports festival in Lagos, and needed urgent replacement.
He disclosed that Abula, a traditional sports was invented in 1984 and played at Idi-Araba Secondary School, Lagos but become a demonstration game during the National Sports Festival in Markudi in 1996, while at Imo 1998, it became a scoring game and Rivers State won gold in male and bronze in the female category.
The Coach also hinted that at the National Sports Festival in Bauchi 2000, they defend their gold as Rivers State participated with their male team only, and in Edo 2002, Abula won Silver while in Abula 2004, they won gold in the male category.
He also disclosed that at Gateway festival in Abeokuta in 2006, Rivers got silver, in Kaduna (Kada) 2008, the male team garnered gold medal while in 2011 Garden City Games, the state won gold in the three categories and in Lagos 2012, the team also won the three gold medals at stake.
The Abula Coach expressed dismay that they did not participate in the Abuja festival due to some states that did not feature their Abula team.
He however noted that they are preparing for the stressing that at the just-concluded South-South Zonal Eliminations Abula qualified for the three categories as the defending champions and are ready to keep up that spirit come Edo 2020.
Also, a rising female Kick-boxer in Rivers State, Queen James Asecheomie has expressed optimism that she will clinch a gold medal in the forthcoming National Sports festival tagged “Edo 2020.”scheduled to take place in benin, capital of Edo State.
Queen James Acheseomie who disclosed this to The Vortex Sports correspondent after a training session at the Rivers State Sports Council Complex, in Port Harcourt township said she had intensified her training in order to achieve her set dream.
According to her, with God and the intensive trainings by Coach Juliet, she would not let the state down.
The Okrika-born kick boxer opined that as a former wrestler, who won two gold medals during the Rivers State Government organized Garden City wrestling and the of Africa Wrestling Championship all in Port Harcourt opted for kick-boxing in order to further show case her talents in martial.
She hinted that since she developed interest for kick-boxing in 2018, she had won Silver in the recently organized Marco Kick-Boxing Championship 2020 held in Port Harcourt, but that with her improvement on the sport, the gold medal is her target for the state come at the national sports festival.
The athlete noted that although they lacked training facilities to keep them in top form, like kick-boxing bags, helmet (Head gear), Chin guard, pad and others, she would not be deterred from achieving her dream, and appealed to the authorities and other spirited sports philanthropists to come to their assistance and help government to develop kick-boxing in the state with the sports kits and training facilities.