IOC creates Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020

The IOC Session has mandated Olympic Solidarity to establish the conditions for participation and define the identification and selection process of the team. These elements will be carried out in close collaboration with the National Olympic Committees, the International Sport Federations, the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020 and the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

The announcement of the Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020 members will be made in 2020.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The IOC Session has once again endorsed this initiative. In an ideal world, we would not need to have a Refugee Team at the Olympic Games. But, unfortunately, the reasons why we first created a Refugee Olympic Team before the Olympic Games Rio 2016 continue to persist. We will do our utmost to welcome refugee athletes and give them a home and a flag in the Olympic Village in Tokyo with all the Olympic athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees. This is the continuation of an exciting, human and Olympic journey, and a reminder to refugees that they are not forgotten.”

IOC President Thomas Bach
Copyright / IOC/C.Moratal, olympic

UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi commended the decision: “In 2016, the Rio refugee team captured the imagination of people around the world and showed the human side of the global refugee crisis through sport. I’m delighted that this tradition is to continue in Tokyo. Giving these exceptional young people the opportunity to compete at the very highest levels is admirable.”

Back in 2015, the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team was formed by the IOC. Ten athletes were chosen to represent people who are too often forgotten. It was a historic moment in Brazil when a team consisting of refugees participated for the first time ever in the Olympic Games at Rio 2016. As they marched in the Opening Ceremony, two swimmers, two judokas, a marathon runner and five middle-distance runners who originally hailed from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo became instant role models for the 68.5 million or so refugees and internally displaced people, and true global ambassadors for the values of Olympism.

Since the Olympic Games, the IOC has continued to support these 10 Refugee Olympians, as well as a number of other refugee athletes across five continents via Olympic Solidarity’s Refugee Athlete Support Programme. Through scholarships, which come in the form of monthly training grants and fixed competition subsidies, Olympic Solidarity and their host National Olympic Committees help these refugee athletes to prepare for and participate in national and international competitions. UNHCR, through its long term collaboration with the IOC, plays a crucial role in all stages of selection, approval and follow up of the athletes.

Furthermore, in September 2017, the IOC launched the Olympic Refuge Foundation to support more broadly the protection and empowerment of vulnerable displaced people through sport and through the creation of safe spaces; again, partnering with UNHCR and local implementation partners in the field.

For the last 20 years, and with the collaboration of UNHCR, the IOC has been providing relief to refugees and internally displaced people by using the power of sport to promote youth development, education, social integration and health. These actions have brought the joy of sport and the related psychological healing to refugee populations in many camps and settlements around the world.

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Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri Arrives France For 2018 ITTF World Cup

After leading Portugal’s Sporting to their first win of the 2018/2019 European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) Champions League, Africa’s sole representative at the 2018 ITTF World Cup, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has arrived Paris, France, in readiness for the three-day tournament which serves off on Friday October 19.

The $250,000 prize money championship will have 20 of the best players in the world competing to share from the prize money and also amass ranking points.

Quadri, who made the final cut based on his world ranking, will start his campaign from the first round where 12 players will be drawn into four groups of three players in each group. The top two players in each group join the already seeded eight players to compete in the knockout round on October 20, while the final holds on October 21.

The 2018 ITTF African Champion was in high spirit for the tournament and he is eager to reenact the feat that saw him becoming the first African to make it to the quarterfinal stage of the championship with his superlative outing at the 2014 edition in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Aruna Quadri

A determined Quadri said he is looking forward to a good draw with the aim of advancing to the knockout round.

“I am here to perform like every other player and I am in good shape after the last weekend’s win in the Champions League. Every player competing in the World Cup, are potential champions and I am looking forward to give my best again and hope for the best against the best in the world,” Quadri said.

The draws for the first round of the World Cup holds on Thursday October 18 at the Disney Event Arena in Chessy, a suburb in the east of Paris, France.

Nigerian Football Shall Be Great Again – Ikpea

The National Chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters’ Club, Rev. Samuel Ikpea, has expressed optimism that Nigerian football is on the path to greatness again.

The NFSC boss told newsmen in his reactions to the Super Eagles recent feats, particularly, the victories over Libya in the AFCON 2019 qualifiers that being absent from two consecutive AFCON tournaments was a disaster that shouldn’t repeat itself.

“The recent feats of our boys is a refreshing relief for our past pains. The performance of the Super Eagles is also a new found zeal and the determination of the team to reclaim their pride of place amongst top football playing nations,” Ikpea remarked.

He said the composition and the never say die attitude of the present team is a sign of greater things coming to Nigerian football.

Rev. Samuel Ikpea President Nigeria Football Supporters Club

Ikpea went on to describe the preparations and encouragement received by the team as the best in recent times. While praising the NFF board for their efforts to return smiles to the faces of Nigerians.

“This present team is enjoying the best in terms of preparations and encouragement. And it is actually spurring the boys to give their best. I must also commend the NFF for ensuring the team gets the best preparations,” he added.

Akeem Busari

Ekiti Sports Community Agog as Fayemi is Sworn-in As Governor

The Ekiti sports community was thrown into a frenzy in jubilation as John Kayode Fayemi is sworn in as governor of Ekiti state.

Stakeholders and concerned sports enthusiasts under the auspices of Ekiti Youths In Sports are in joyful mood. According to the general coordinator of the group, Bayo Olanlege, the return of Fayemi as governor of the state would be the needed lifeline to resuscitate sports in the state that has been moribund for the past four years.

John Kayode Fayemi
photo credit: kfayemi.com

“We rejoice today and celebrate the return of Dr. John Kayode Fayemi as the governor of Ekiti state. For so many years, sports in our state have been in a state of comatose.

“Sports enthusiasts and youths of this great state are optimistic that with JKF, their potentials and future are secured”, Olanlege further enthused.

Akeem Busari

Wheelchair Tennis Ranking Tournament Serves Off in Lagos

Wheelchair tennis players across the country will slug it out for four days in Lagos as the national ranking tournament serves off Wednesday.

Head coach of Nigeria’s wheelchair tennis, Frank Tarmena, informed that no fewer than 120 players from all parts of Nigeria will take part in the tournament which will be used to grade players in the country.

The men’s draw for the tournament which is bankrolled by Nigeria Tennis Federation president, Ifedayo Akindoju, will be round of 32 for men; the same for the women’s category. Currently, Alex Adewale is the prime seed for the male while Kafayat Omisore tops the women’s ranking.

Adewale represented Nigeria at the 2012 London Olympics and has won the last six editions of the Central Bank of Nigeria Open but is expected to be given fierce a challenge by the likes of Wasiu Yusuf, Lateef Shodipo and Jude Uwazie while Omisore will have Tosin Dawodu and Chituru Nwaozuzu among her toughest challengers for the top placement.

Tarmena stressed that beyond the points at stake, the tourney will put Nigeria in good stead ahead of upcoming international tournaments which include the African Championship billed for February 2019 in Ghana.

He lamented Nigeria’s inability to consolidate on its dominance of Africa which now sees South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Kenya ranked higher on the continent but expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon be reclaiming its enviable position in the game.

Wheelchair tennis will for the first time be part of the National Sports Festival billed for next month in Abuja.

SLOVENIA’s JUVAN FIRST PLAYER TO WIN TWO YOUTH OLYMPIC GOLDS

Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan capped off a memorable week in Buenos Aires with her second gold of the Games after defeating France’s Clara Burel 75 64 in the girls’ singles final on Sunday.

In so doing the 17-year-old becomes the first tennis player to win two golds in one Youth Olympics.

“That’s just really special,” said Juvan. “I saw the players that played the last Youth Olympics and they were really good. There was [Daria] Kasatkina and [Jelena] Ostapenko.

Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan
Photo credit: ITF

“It’s just so amazing to have both of them and to be as close to the third [gold] as I was, it’s just so amazing. I’m just happy for it and currently I’m speechless.”

Ekiti State Ready To Hijack Gold Cup Tourney From Benue State

Impressed by Gold Cup standard and quality, Ekiti State is set to hijack the nation’s prestigious pre-season tournament hosting right from Benue State.

The General Manager of Phoenix Athletic Sports Club, Bayo Olanlege, disclosed to Newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, that he has been given the mandate by Ekiti State to woo the organisers of the foremost Nigerian pre-season tourney.

“This is one pre-season football Tournament I follow with keen interest when you look at the clubs that has taken part in it. Any state that really love and knows the important of hosting a football event of this magnitude will bid for the hosting of the event.

He continued “I there say that the Gold Cup have helped clubs to become champions or gained CAF Champions League or Confederation Cup ticket.

“I can use the likes of Lobi Stars and Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM FC) as a reference. Be mindful that Remo Stars who are on the verge of returning to the NPFL have featured in the last four editions while Kano Pillars who are the defending champion are also in the Aiteo Cup final while Katsina United a Gold Cup semi-finalist last season lost to the Sia Maisu Gida team in the Aiteo Cup semi-final in Lagos.”

He stressed further adding the economy value of the football event to hosting state.

“The tourney has also helped our youths to be gainfully employed as our domestic clubs use the event to scout players.

“It has enjoyed good mileage from the media as the whole idea of it was from Tunde Shamsudeen the general coordinator of the event who alongside some persons in the Media Team have dedicated close to 15 years reporting the Nigerian football and its domestic Leagues.

“I hear Benue are to host this year’s edition, which is the 6th, am afraid Ekiti State may rival them to it.

“We are not trying to flex muscles with Benue but for sports to develop from the grassroot, football in the Fountain of Knowledge needs an event like the Gold Cup to awaken the potential within and show everyone what great host we could be,” he concluded.

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