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Yobo Mini Stadium Hosts 24 Teams of PH City League

A total of 24 teams are participating in the 2021 edition of the Port Harcourt City Leaque which kicked-off over the weekend at the Joseph Yobo mini-stadium at D/Line in Port Harcourt.

The teams include the defending champions, SKE Football Club, Port Harcourt City FC, Fidwax FC, IAUE Sealions, Amabassadors Soccer Academy, Paris Glodek FC, Corinthians FC, Dumo United and Elekahia United Football club that were drawn in Group B.

Other teams in Group A are; the runners-up of the last edition, Dolphins Football club, D/Line Utd, Port Harcourt Football Academy, Legend FC, RSU Dolphins, MCWJEF Soccer Academy.

Also in the group are Ororo FC, Salvation Boys, NAFSkyhawk FC, Port Harcourt United, Mountain of Fire and Miracle (MFM) football club and Friends’ football club.

Our correspondent gathered that the two groups format was to ensure a hitch-free competition as more teams registered for this years championship, which the organizers promised will be a remarkable one.

It was also learnt that all teams are battle ready to clinch the giant trophy and prize, and are hopeful that the end of the completion, national coaches would pick talented players for their clubsides.

The curtain raiser of the completion was between D/Line United and Dolphins Football Club at Joseph Yobo Mini-stadium, D/Line, Port Harcourt over the weekend. 

Meanwhile, the coach player and veteran midfielder of RSU Dolphins FC, Sam Lador said they were inspired by what they saw the players at the last edition and decided to join this year as the competition was aimed at catching them young.

Coach Lador said his boys were ready for exploit as they are vibrant, proactive and willing to showcase their talents and make the institute proud.

In the same vein, coach David Egbiri of the Ignatius Ajuru University said he want his players to gain exposure in the league to keep them in good shape since the NUGA Games is no longer in existence, adding that they will use the league to showcase their talents and improve themselves.

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‘Team Rivers’ll Spring Surprises in 2022’

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Rivers State Sports Council, Chief Christopher Chioma has expressed optimism that Team Rivers will spring a surprise in the 2022 National Sports Festival in Delta, despite clinching the 4th position in the just concluded Edo 2021.

Chioma in an interview with our correspondent in his office in Port Harcourt, said Team Rivers will also surprise their arch-rivals and host of the 2022 festival, Delta as they will do everything possible to take their rightful place as they did in Garden City 2011 in Rivers State.

The Sports Council image maker hinted that their greatest challenge was the poaching of most of their athletes by other states like Bayelsa, Delta and Edo, and further disclosed that the State Ministry of Sports had promised to ensure that all the athletes who were lured with incentives to other states were brought back in preparation for Delta 2022.

According to him, although they were taken unaware by what transpired, they would prove to Delta and other states that Rivers State is the hub of athletes in Nigeria.

He lauded the efforts of the team leaders in ensuring that one of their athletes who competed for Bayelsa State in swimming and won four gold, two silver and one bronze was stripped of his medals through protest, adding that Team Rivers will stop at nothing in clinching the top position in next year edition of the sports festival.

The Council spokesman thanked the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for ensuring the team’s early preparation and movement to the competition.

He specially commended the Commissioner of Sports, Hon. Boma Iyaye and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Sir. Honour Sirawoo for their efforts in ensuring a hitch-free competition as their presence at the festival motivated the athletes.

It would be recalled that about 434 athletes and officials with support staff participated at the festival. Team Rivers came 4th at the festival with 33 gold, 34 silver and 61 bronze as they participated in 28 sports events.

Meanwhile, Rivers State contingents to the Edo festival are appealing to the Rivers State Government to formally reward the deserving athletes in order to motivate them and ensure early preparation for the next edition and avoid the fire brigade approach of lateness.  

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National Principal’s Cup: Rivers Wins Best Athlete Award

The 2021 edition of the Principal’s Cup competition in the country has ended with Rivers State clinching four golds, one silver and two bronze medals.

The event which was organized by the Federal Ministry of Youth and sports from the states to the zones while the finals was held at MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja

The Vortex correspondent gathered that Rivers State also won the Personal Best Performing Athlete of the competition.

The 4x400m boys gold medal was clinched by Team Rivers, while Victor Tamunoimama Marcus of Community Secondary School, Okochiri was the fastest in 100 and 200meters, setting a new record of 10.07 seconds to grab the gold medals.

He was named the king of the race in Nigeria by the organizers of the event. From the State and Zonal levels, Isaac Gana of Community Secondary School, Abonnema took silver medal while Awaji-Agbana of Government Secondary School, Borikiri won bronze medal in the female category of the long Jump.

At the grand finale of the event, South-South had a total of 13 golds.

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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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