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Body Building Club Wants Members To Represent Rivers

A body building club, COJENT GYM in Port Harcourt Township says they want to partner with the Rivers State Sports Council so that its members would have the opportunity to represent the state in competitions.

Head of the GYM, Mr. Alex Egbe told our correspondent that the club had 25 active members that could be engaged meaningfully in sports, and as personal body guards during occasions.

Egbe hinted that the skillful and able-bodied men trained daily as weight lifters and disclosed that their members who participated in body building competition during National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) event in Plateau State won in various categories. He declared that by their affiliation with the sports council, they would further exhibit their skills and make the state proud during competions.

The club boss called on youths to engage in sports as a source of employment, noting that “Sports is a veritable source of income.”

Egbe also noted that their members could assist during weddings, burials and other ceremonies.

Some of the active members of the 25 years old gym include Victor Ernest, Lucky Egberime, Kenneth Kanu, Timi Sese and Victor Iyalla among others.

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Hoodlums Burglarize Sports Council

Two suspected hoodlums are now telling the police how they broke and entered offices of the Rivers State Sports Council last Tuesday night.

The suspects, names withheld, aged 16 and 18 were caught after they buggled the office of some management staff of the council among others.

Our correspondent gathered that the miscreants gained entrance to the offices with a master key and ransacked the drawers.

According to an eye witness, they had already succeeded in their operation as they gathered monies, jewelries and other valuables at a particular area and were still carrying on their nefarious activities in other offices before luck ran out of them.

It was learnt that one of the council drivers heard strange sound in the office and raised alarm which attracted some athletes residing in the council and the public to make move to apprehend them.

The eye-witness further said it was a mild drama as the suspects tried to escape through the ceiling but luck ran out on them as they were apprehended and handed over to the law enforcement agents.

Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Council, Chief Christopher Chioma said the suspects are with the police while investigation is on-going.

Chief Chioma added that victims of the robbery are counting their losses as money, jewelries and other valuables were reportedly missing.

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SWAN Shifts Late Henry Kalio Cup To 2021

The proposed SWAN Late Henry Kalio Football Cup Completion billed for December 2020 has been postponed.

The Chairman of the Sports Writers  Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Rivers State, Ambassador Jim Opiki Udede told our correspondent in Port Harcourt, that the postponement was as a result of COVID-19 Pandemic.

According to him, a new date will be announced in the new year, 2021 and regretted any inconvenience caused various media team preparing for the competition.

It would be recalled that SWAN  planned to revive the Late Henry Kalio Football Cup Completion among media houses in the state.

The competition designed for sports Journalists and media houses is to recreate and rejuvenate their skills to keep them mentally alert and physically fit as they carry out their professional duties.

Our correspondent learnt that an ardent sports philanthropist and patron of SWAN, Rivers State, Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni (Rtd) had promised to sponsor the competition with mouth-watering prizes to be won.

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Golf: Cole-Kotas Wins 2020 Ladies Open

This years edition of the Port Harcourt Ladies Open Golf Championship has come and gone with the President of Ladies Golfers Association of Nigeria, Susan Cole-Kotas emerged as the overall winner of the championship.

The week-long tournament which took place at the Port Harcourt Club 1928 Golf Course attracted a cream of Lady golfers from all over the country including the defending champion, Amina Wilfred.

Speaking at the grand finale, the special guest and wife of the Rivers State Governor, Justice Suzette Eberechi Nyesom Wike expressed delight with the performance of the lady golfers and encouraged them to keep up the spirit.

Justice Wike charged them to continue in their chosen sports, adding that when women are happy with games like golf, their husbands also benefit from such state of mind and health.

She opined that through golf they derive strength from each other interact and mingle for good  relationship.

The wife of the Governor further lauded the lady golfers in the state for organizing such a National Inter-Club Annual Competition and adviced them to encourage others participate into the game.

In her speech, the Lady Captain of the Port Harcourt Club Golf Section, Pat Ozoemene lauded the sponsors of the tournament for their gesture, pointing out that it is incumbent on the outgoing captain to host such an annual event which she describes as a huge success.

Lady Captain Ozoemene noted that it was a difficult task to host the tournament due to the state of the economy occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic and the EndSARS protests and thanked God for making the tournament possible.

Also speaking, the current champion of the 29th Ladies Amateur Open Golf Championship, Susan Cole-Kotas dedicated her victory to all lady golfers in the country.

Susan Cole-Kotas, a former Lady Captain of Python Golf Club, Port Harcourt and former Lady Captain of Port Harcourt Club Golf Section commended the organizers particularly Lady Captain Pat Ozoemene for working hard to ensure hitch-free championship.

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Buhari Hails Joshua For Pummeling Pulev …Set Eyes On Fury

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Nigerian-born boxer, Anthony Joshua on his victory over Kubrat Pulev Saturday night.

According to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity,Femi Adesina, in Abuja, yesterday, the President said “by retaining his IBF, WBA, and WBO titles, Joshua has given boxing lovers round the world, and particularly in Nigeria, something to cheer.”

The president recalled his meeting with the heavyweight champion in London earlier in the year, and described  Joshua as a humble, well brought up young man, “who will still go places.”

Buhari wishes Joshua all the best in his dream fight against Tyson Fury, saying he has the prayers and goodwill of Nigerians going with him.

Meanwhile Anthony Joshua said he wants to unify all four world heavyweight boxing titles in an all-British clash with Tyson Fury after a dominant ninth round knockout of Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at London’s Wembley Arena on Saturday.

In front of 1,000 fans, with attendance limited due to coronavirus restrictions, Joshua ensured there was no repeat of a shock defeat in his first clash with Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 as the 39-year-old Pulev was swotted aside.

Attention will now turn to the possibility of a much-anticipated clash with WBC champion Fury in 2021.

“I’m up for anything. Who wants to see Anthony Joshua box Tyson Fury in 2021?” Joshua asked the crowd to a chorus of cheers.

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…Administrator, Coach Gear Up For Tourney

A Sports administrator and a coach have expressed their preparedness as the December 3 – 18, 2020 date scheduled for the National Sports Festival (NSF) billed for Benin City, Edo State is due

In an interview with The Vortex correspondent in Port Harcourt, they said with the fixture, all their efforts in putting things together and vigorous trainings would not be in vain, adding that training without competitions kills the morale and skills of the athletes.

They however expressed optimism that despite the Corona virus pandemic protocols which they will observe, they will leave no stone to ensure that they come up in flying colours  at the end of the two segment festival.

The Public Relations Officer of Rivers State Sports Council, Chief Christopher Chioma said it is a happy moment as the festival has been re-scheduled for December 3 to 18, adding that, Rivers State contingent would be in camp for 10 days before the festival.

Chief Chioma reiterated that they are going to the festival with all hopes to top other states despite challenges due to the Corona virus pandemic which frustrated the athletes after training and preparing for the games.

A Weight-lifting Coach, Egbosa Emmanuel opined that despite lack of encouragement and support for youths and athletes after training for tournaments, his team is sure of making the state proud by winning laurels that would surpass their last performance in Abuja, 2018.

Coach Emmanuel pleaded that government should help upcoming sportsmen and women to develop more interest in sports and represent the state well during competitions as most of them were suffering without sustainable income or resources.

He hinted that it is pity that most of the performing athletes were on contract and since there is no competition to engage them meaningfully, they may change their minds and compete for other states.

He appealed to the Rivers State Government to do everything possible to retain these athletes for future competitions.

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RSG Sure To Win National Sports Festival

…As Athletes Move Into Camp

The Rivers State Government said it would stop at nothing to clinch the first position in the National Sports Festival (NSF) scheduled to kick-off on December 3, 2020 in Benin City, Edo State.

Commissioner for Sports, Hon. Boma Iyaye who made the assertion in a radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt said the state is well prepared for the festival with the support of the Power of Sports, Africa, Gov. Nyesom Wike, adding that the athletes were already been in camp.

Hon. Iyaye who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Sir Honour  Sirawoo said the Rivers State contingent had started training at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium and necessary facilities have also been put on ground for their comfort.

He disclosed that the state would participate in 35 sports with a team of 400 athletes and 40 officials,  working to ensure success.

The Commissioner noted that they are trying to see how they could manage their athletes and work with what is available as they are not interested in pouching, but for those that have been in the state for long or born in the state would be considered.

Hon. Iyaye who described the sports festival as a breeding ground regretted that instead of discovering new talents, some states still make use of elites.

He boasted that Rivers State will generate athletes, discover talents and set records to make the state Governor and Rivers people proud as the technical committee is also working to come up with ways for Rivers State to excel at the festival.

On the just concluded Governor Wike Pre-season Football Tournament that  Rivers United beat Bayelsa United 5-4 on penalty after 1-1 full time play, the Commissioner said the tournament was organized to test-run and assess the team’s preparedness for the forthcoming Continental engagements, while also assuring that the media in the state as an arm of sports development would be carried along and put in proper perspective.

Boma Iyaye also debunked insinuations making the round that government had abandoned Sports Institute of Rivers State (SIRS), Isaka for Real Madrid Academy, saying that the Ministry had set up a Monitoring and Evaluation committee to look into the challenges of the institute as the Governor is committed and determined to develop sports.

He disclosed that government had approved the fencing, reactivation and total overhaul of the Institute with a view to repositioning it to archive its purpose.

It would be recalled that Rivers State came second in the last edition of the National Sports Festival in Abuja in 2018.

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Gov. Wike’s Football Tourney Kicks off Nov 1

The second edition of Governor Nyesom Wike 2020 Pre-Season Football Tournament is expected to kick-off from November 1st to 10th in Port Harcourt.

The State Commissioner for Sports, Hon. Boma Iyaye who disclosed this while inaugurating the Organizing Committee of the tournament in his office in Port Harcourt, said as Rivers United Football Club prepares for the 2020/2021 Footbal season, players from the tournament could be preked to strengthen the team, and charged the organizers to ensure   they consult with the State Football Association.

He also enjoined the organizers to bring their wealth of experience to bear as professionals from various fields of sports for a successful tournament, adding that the tournament is expected to attract football teams from the Nigeria Professional League and Nigeria National Football Leagues among others.

According to him, the football tournament would help cement the relationship and unity of the people of Rivers State, and warned that strict compliance of COVID-19 protocols should be observed before and during the competition.

The Sports Commissioner hinted that the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium and Sharks Stadium would be used for the tournament as the Yakubu Gowon Stadium formerly Liberation Stadium is being used as a COVID-19 centre.

In his speech, Chairman of the committee, Basir Badawiy thanked the commissioner for finding them worthy for the appointment and assured that they would ensure that they achieve set objectives and justify the confidence reposed in them.

He solicited for the co-operation and support of all in organizing the tournament which he promised would be unique.

Members of the committee include Dima Karika, Chuks Ezeji, Bright Oguder, Chris Udogu, Benjamin Akobo and Olalekan Ige while Sepribo Nimifaa is to serve as the secretary to the committee.

Meanwhile, there are concerns over the non inclusion of the State Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Ambassador Jim Udede-Opiki into the committee.

Sports enthusiasts who spoke with our correspondent said it is unfortunate that the SWAN chairman was not in such a committee in the state, stressing, that it is high time politics and sentiments are being thrown over-board in the interest of sports development in the state. 

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Philanthropist Seeks Law To Sustain Real Madrid Academy

A sports philanthropist, Captain Adedoyin Williams, has called for a pragmatic functional policy for youths sports development.

Captain Williams who made the call in a radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt said such policy could be realized through the revival of school sports and cadet championship.

According to him, reviving grassroot sports development would rejuvenate the state as sports hub as talents abound are rusting away due to lack of sports programmes that would fish them out.

He noted that reinvigorating the Local League would also help expose budding talents that will become future stars for the country and advised the sports authorities and the Nigeria Football Federation (WFF) and the technical crew of the Super Eagles that enlistment into the national team should not depend on Europe-based footballers alone.

Captain Williams who is also the proprietor of WIlbros Football Club, Port Harcourt appealed to corporate organizations and sports loving individuals to complement government efforts by promoting a sports of their interest to further fish out talents for the development of sports in the society.

The Sports philanthropist also commended Governor Nyesom Wike for ensuring that the dreams for establishing the Real Madrid Academy is achieved despite challenges, adding that the Academy when functional would boost football development.

He however called on the Governor who is Power of Sports in Africa to put in place a solid policy guidelines that would ensure the continuity of the Academy even after the present administration.

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EPL Matchday 5: Arteta Reunites With Pep

…As Merseyside is Divided

After a long and winding international break, the Premier League is back for matchday 5. The 20 teams will compete over the course of three days for this round of matches.

The weekend’s action kicks off with a bang, as league-leaders Everton host 5th placed Liverpool for the first Merseyside derby of the season..

Everton are on top of the log, and they need just a point to stay there. Liverpool could displace Everton from first position, but they would need to win by at least four goals and then hope for favorable results for that to happen.

7th-placed Chelsea welcomes 11th-placed Southampton to Stamford Bridge later on Saturday. Chelsea convincingly eased past Crystal Palace last weekend with Ben Chilwell, Kurt Zouma and Jorginho (twice from the spot) getting on the scoresheet. Southampton comfortably beat West Brom courtesy of goals from Moussa Djenepo and Oriel Romeu.

Another big game sees 4th-placed Arsenal travel to Manchester to meet 14th-placed City, as Pep Guardiola reunites with his former assistant Mikel Arteta.

City were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Elland Road before the international break, as Raheem Sterling’s opener was cancelled out in the second half.Arsenal beat Sheffield United 2-1 a day after City’s draw, as Bukayo Saka scored his first goal at the Emirates and Nicolas Pépé secured the three points.

City can only reach 9th place with a win against the Gunners. Arsenal could finish the matchday as league-leaders, but they would need Everton to lose by a decent margin for that to happen.

The final clash on Saturday sees 9th-placed Newcastle host 16th-placed Manchester United.

Newcastle beat Burnley 3-1 as Allan Saint-Maximin scored and assisted a goal each while Callum Wilson bagged a brace.

United were thrashed 1-6 by Tottenham last weekend when Bruno Fernandes’ early penalty was quickly replied to – and in some style.

Newcastle could reach the runners-up spot if they win and get a lot of help in the form of favourable results. United can not go higher than 10th spot no matter what, and even that seems unlikely. A loss, on the other hand, could see United slip into the bottom three for the first time in over 30 years after the opening matchday.

6th-placed Tottenham host 10th-placed West Ham for a London derby in Sunday’s headline matchup. Tottenham spanked Manchester United for six two weeks ago, with Tanguy Ndombele and Serge Aurier getting a goal each while Son Heung-min and Harry Kane both bagged a brace.

West Ham surprisingly eased past Leicester, as goals from Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen helped them onto a 0-3 triumph.

Tottenham have a chance of reaching second place if all those who are above them in the table falter, but an entry into the elusive top four should suffice for now. West Ham could go as high as third if they get a lot of help from elsewhere, but their focus should be to close in on the European spots.

The last of the weekend’s action sees 3rd-placed Leicester host shock runners-up Aston Villa. Leicester lost 0-3 to West Ham as aforementioned. Villa decimated Liverpool two weeks ago thanks to an Ollie Watkins hat-trick, a Jack Grealish brace and a goal each from John McGinn and Ross Barkley.

Leicester could go to first place for the first time since 2016 if they win and Everton lose in the Merseyside derby. Villa are similarly positioned, so they too good reach the top spot for the first time in nearly 30 years with a win.

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