Category Archives: Multisports

2020 SPORTS FESTIVAL FACILITY TOUR: Dalung Thrilled By Quality Of Structures…

The Nigeria Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung on Monday commended the Government of Edo State for its preparedness to host the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival billed for 2020.

The sports minister who paid an unscheduled visit to the state to assess the level of work at facilities for the Games now being referred to as “Benin 2020”, was left speechless after inspecting facilities at the various locations designated for the hosting of the games. The facilities include the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin Technical College and the University of Benin.

“I must confess that from what I have seen on ground, the Edo State Government is more prepared for the hosting of the National Sports Festival than I had imagined. Of course, there is still the need for some touches here and there but that is where the Federal Government comes in because the National Sports Festival is a Federal Government event. Even the University of Benin from the facilities I see on ground, can successfully host the games and I seize the opportunity to commend the founding fathers of the institution for this great initiative. I am totally happy with all the locations visited here in Benin-City”, the minister declared.

Asked to comment on the renovation work done so far on the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Dalung said he was more than satisfied.

“The contractor has already assured that the stadium will be ready by April. The stadium from what I have seen is capable of becoming the best in the country but I have already advised the Edo State Government not to compromise quality. The stadium is going to become not only a state monument but also a national monument hence the need to emphasise the use of quality materials and products”, the minister stated.

Responding on behalf of the Edo State Government, Barrister Godwin Dudu-Orumen, the Chairman Edo State Sports Commission re-iterated the readiness of the state to host the best national sports festival. He said the state will leave no stone unturned to achieve this.

“The Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration is already re-constructing the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to international standard and we are building 20 mini stadia in the 18 local governments of the state. We not only want to host the games, we want it to be the best ever since the inception of the games and you can rest assured that we are going to put every machinery in place to achieve that”, he stated.

Edo State was awarded the hosting rights for the 20th National Sports Festival last December in Abuja at the close of the 19th edition which was also held in Abuja.

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Edo 2020: We’ll Deliver Best Games Ever, Says Governor Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has assured Nigerians that his administration will host the best National Sports Festival seen the inception of the games in 1973.

The Governor made the promise at the National Stadium in Abuja on Sunday night moments after Edo State was handed hosting rights to the 2020 edition of the festival.

Edo State finished in third place behind Rivers State and winners, Delta State at the just concluded 2018 edition of the festival hosted by Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

National Sports Festival 2018
photo credit: National Sports Festival

An elated Governor Obaseki thanked the Federal Government for reposing confidence in Edo State by handing it hosting rights to the 2020 games. The Governor who embarked on an excursion into world history by drawing comparisons between the determination of his state to do everything possible to deliver a qualitative games, and the valiant British pilots whose sustained bombing of German soldiers and facilities during the Second World War, helped tilt the war in the Allies favour, said:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, taking cue from the great British statesman, I and the people of Edo State assure you that the confidence reposed in us would be justified. There will not come a time anyone will have cause to regret this momentous decision you have taken to hand us this hosting right.

“Like the valiant British fighter pilots of World War II we will take every step necessary, make every sacrifice needed, and climb every height necessary to deliver the best Games in the annals of the Sports Festival”.

Acknowledging that there would be challenges in hosting the games, the Edo State Governor said:

“There will be challenges on the way, no doubt but we are Edo people. We have the men who can do the job and the facilities that will facilitate performance.

“Whatever challenges there are, we will overcome because Edo people tread where even lions do not. Like our warriors of old, we will slay every foe and surmount every obstacle to succeed”.

He said the 2020 Games will surpass previous games in every respect.

EDO State Governor Godwin Obaseki

“The 2020 Sports Festival will be different from any previously hosted and any that will come after it. Perhaps it can only be surpassed in splendour and organisation the next time Edo State hosts it afterwards.

“Edo 2020 Sports Festival will be a festival thriving on ‘strategy, organisation, technical apparatus, science, mechanics, and morale,’” he stated.

He assured that in the end, Nigerians will be more than happy to have witnessed the games.

“We make a solemn promise today that we will give it our all and at the end of the day everyone would say of the 2020 Games, ‘this is our festival in which we are well pleased’”.

SPORTS FESTIVAL: Edo State Groans Under The Weight Of Bloated Contingent…

SPORTS FESTIVAL: Edo State groans under the weight of bloated contingent as athletes, coaches suffer neglect

As other states settle down to competition at the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival, which got underway yesterday, Edo State is groaning under the weight of an over-bloated contingent.

With 591 athletes and officials, Edo State has the largest contingent at the games.

Checks reveal that more than a third of this number are not athletes but individuals smuggled into the team for personal reasons. These individuals investigations revealed, have been given preferential treatment over athletes and coaches who are the main actors at the festival.

Whilst coaches and their athletes have been struggling to get themselves accommodated and paid their outstanding camping allowances and settle down to compete, these individuals smuggled into the team have since been settled into comfortable accommodation.

“We have been treated like orphans right from Benin City. We had trained for about two weeks courtesy of the generosity of our coaches who funded the exercise because the state refused to provide funds.

“We travelled overnight on Wednesday and arrived in Abuja yesterday(Thursday) morning and were driven straight to the stadium. Even after the opening ceremony, we were huddled into the bus and spent the night without being accommodate,” an aggrieved female athlete said.

Generally, within the Edo State camp there was a general atmosphere of disquiet as athletes and officials, abandoned to their fate, wondered who exactly was in charge.

An angry coach told this reporter that their patience had breaking point. He said that since he had been attending sports festivals, he had not seen the kind of disorganisation and confusion like the one that has attended Edo State’s preparation for this games.

“It is very unfortunate what is happening here. We don’t know exactly what is happening or who is in charge. When you ask questions the response you get is, ‘we are looking into the matter’. In the end nothing gets done,” the coach who asked that his name not be mentioned, said.

National Sports Festival 2018
photo credit: National Sports Festival

A visibly disturbed Barrister Godwin Dudu-Orumen, the newly appointed chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission (ESSC) refused to respond to questions on the development within the camp as he shrugged off all entreaties to make him talk.

Checks by this paper revealed the existence of multiple lines of authority as certain officials in the delegation attempt to bypass and undermine the authority of the chairman of the commission.

Despite the drawbacks, Edo athletes managed to focus on their events, winning a few medals in events like powerlifting and table tennis on the opening day of the competition.

It is not clear whether Edo State Governor; Godwin Obaseki is in the know of developments within his state’s camp. The Governor, who was at the opening ceremony of the games on Thursday December 6, had assured the contingent of support in their quest to win laurels for the state.

Sports Festival: Edo State Contingent, Bruised, Battered But Hopeful

With the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival moments away, all appears not to be well within the camp of Edo State.

Investigations reveal that there is disquiet within the camp as athletes and officials complain of shoddy treatment in the run up to the Games.

Specifically, checks indicate that funding has been a major issue as coaches had to personally fund the training and preparation of their athletes following non-release of funds by the state government.

One of the coaches spoken to complained bitterly of how he had to use his meagre resources to feed and take care of athletes under his watch.

“It is totally unacceptable for this to be happening. How can a state that says it wants to win the festival act this way? How can they completely abandon athletes and officials like this? Were it not for the commitment of some of us, we would not even be in a state to compete at the Games,” said the coach who did not want his name in print.

Corroborating the coach’s comments, an athlete said it was very sad that despite their readiness to win laurels for the state, athletes had been treated shabbily by the state.

“We are sad the way we are being treated by the government. We have been left without food and medication. Were it not for our coaches who have been fending for us using their own money, things would have been worse,” the athlete said.

He said the sorry state of preparation is surprising to him and his colleagues particularly as they know the seriousness Governor Godwin Obaseki attaches to the Games especially as he has signalled the intention of the Edo State Government to host the next edition of the festival.

“Something is wrong somewhere. We don’t understand what is happening. Our Governor is not only interested in us doing well at this festival; he is also interested in hosting the next edition of festival. So, why would he allow us to be so badly treated?” the athlete wondered.

Despite the poor treatment meted to them, the athletes and officials are still upbeat about their chances at the games.

“We are not going to let the way they have treated us deter us from our determination to win laurels for the state. Our coaches have prepared us the best way they can given the circumstances. We are appealing to our governor to come to our rescue. We know he is a good man and means well. Let him rescue us from this difficult situation,” a female athlete said.

Attempts to reach Barrister Godwin Dudu-Orumen, the newly appointed chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission ( ESSC), and Sir Phillip Shuaibu the Deputy-Governor of the state, who has been supervising sports in the state, proved abortive as calls to their phone did not go through.

IOC and Samsung Extend Partnership Through To 2028

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, (Samsung) today announced an extension to their global Olympic partnership through to 2028.

The announcement was made in Seoul, Republic of Korea, at a signing ceremony with IOC President Thomas Bach and Jay Y. Lee, Vice Chairman at Samsung Electronics; IOC Marketing Commission Chair Tsunekazu Takeda; Dong Jin Koh, President and CEO of the IT&Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics; and Younghee Lee, CMO and Executive Vice President, Samsung Electronics.

Samsung will continue as the Worldwide Olympic Partner in the wireless communications equipment and computing equipment category, including the ability to promote the Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 5G features of that equipment. As part of the agreement, the IOC and Samsung will further develop their strategic digital collaboration to engage young generations around the world in order to promote the power of sport and the values of Olympism.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “I am delighted that we will be building on two decades of partnership with Samsung for another 10 years. Over this time, we have built a partnership combining Olympic excellence and Samsung’s industry-leading wireless communications technology. Together, we are able to connect with and inspire Olympic athletes and fans around the world, and we look forward to working with Samsung to build the digital future of the Olympic Games.”

Dong Jin Koh, President and CEO of the IT&Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics, said: “As a Worldwide Olympic Partner for the last 22 years, Samsung has been inspired by the spirit of hope, friendship and unity. Through our innovative wireless and computing equipment which are able to support AI, VR, AR and 5G technology, we hope to spread the excitement of the Games so that fans and athletes around the world can stay connected and share in the journey to achieve greatness at the highest level of sportsmanship.”

IOC Marketing Commission Chair Tsunekazu Takeda said: “Samsung is a global success story and a brand recognised around the world. Samsung understands and promotes the Olympic values through technology and marketing campaigns that help break down barriers and engage new audiences. From a commercial perspective, our extension with Samsung to 2028 builds on the long-term agreements reached recently with existing and new Partners, and demonstrates the long-term strength and appeal of our marketing programmes.”

Samsung will continue its support beyond the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and will support every edition of the Olympic Games through to Los Angeles 2028, as well as all the Youth Olympic Games through to 2028. Samsung will also continue to support the IOC, the National Olympic Committees and their teams. Samsung’s first Games as a Worldwide TOP Partner were the Olympic Winter Games Nagano 1998. Samsung will also continue as a Worldwide Partner of the International Paralympic Committee, extending a relationship that began in 2006.

In collaboration with the IOC and the Organising Committees, Samsung plans to continue its Athlete Phone Programme. This programme provides Limited Olympic Edition Galaxy phones to all participating Olympic and Paralympic athletes to enhance the athletes’ Games-time experience, help them stay in touch with their family and friends, and capture and share their journeys.

IOC President commits to significantly increase the number of Young Change-Makers…

IOC President commits to significantly increase the number of Young Change-Makers on IOC Commissions for 2019

“Let’s join forces to make the world a better place through sport.”

The IOC will be significantly increasing the number of Young Change-Makers (YCMs) on its Commissions for 2019, IOC President Thomas Bach announced on the final day of the three-day IOC Youth Summit taking place in Tokyo. During the last IOC Youth Summit in Lausanne in 2017, seven YCMs were included on the IOC Commissions and played a vital role in the Olympism in Action Forum this October.

The IOC Youth Summit brought together 39 of the 42 Young Change-Makers+ who have been provided with seed funding (CHF 5000) in 2018 to establish social projects using sport to impact their local communities in the year ahead. Some 70 projects have been established that has impacted 25,000 participants since it was introduced in 2016. The group met over three days hosted by TOP Partner Panasonic, the programme sponsor, in Tokyo to learn from each other and share ideas on their programmes.

IOC President Bach said; “I would like to inform you that we will significantly increase the number of YCMs in the IOC Commissions for 2019. This is your home to present your ideas, your projects and make your comments. Let’s join forces to make the world a better place through sport.”

During the summit, they received mentorship and took part in workshops on moving from a charity to a social business from Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, who himself has built his career on social entrepreneurship. In his address to the YCMs he said “You are mobilising people around the world with one single thing, sport. You are messengers for change, actors for change, you bring changes to your communities, to society and to the whole world.”

YCM Rania Rahardja from Singapore said, “We have a voice now within the Olympic Movement that is getting louder and louder. This is a Movement that needs to stay relevant and this is how we can help. Our meeting with the President is to discuss the issues that matter to us and having this diversity of young voices heard.”

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

During the three-day summit, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (TOCOG) also took the opportunity to gather ideas of the YCM to help them frame their own youth engagement programmes.

Since the programme was established at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games Singapore 2010 a network of 280 Young Change Makers has been established around the world spreading the values of Olymism.

For the second year running, the IOC is delighted to welcome the support of TOP Partner Panasonic, which has made it possible to expand the YCM+ programme with its generosity.

Snooker Supports Paris 2024 Olympic Bid

Billiard sports launched its bid to become part of the Paris 2024 Olympic Sports programme today at a special ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Hosted by the Billiards 2024 Committee and supported by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and World Snooker, the event represents a significant milestone billiard sports’ bid for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Games.

Among those present were WPBSA Vice Chairman Nigel Mawer QPM and former world professional snooker champion Shaun Murphy, who joined senior representatives from the Fédération Française de Billard (FFB) and other international organisations to support the bid.

Billiard sports previously applied to join the Olympic programme for the Tokyo 2020 Games and three years on is in a significantly stronger position to be successful as cuesports continue to grow globally.

The first step to securing Olympic status for 2024 was taken earlier this year by the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS), the umbrella organisation representing snooker, billiards and carom, when the formal submission for billiard sports to be included as an additional sport at the Paris Games was made with the full cooperation of the FFB.

A sport for all

Snooker in particular has a proven track record of staging high-quality international events with the World Snooker Tour now comprising 27 major tournaments around the world, with a television reach of 1.6 billion homes. The sport is played in approximately 100 countries with players from across the globe regularly participating.

The sport is strongly represented at both professional and amateur levels and under the guidance of former WCBS President Jason Ferguson and former General Secretary Maxime Cassis, was successfully included at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw at which leading professional Kyren Wilson of England won the prestigious gold medal.

Snooker’s International Federation the World Snooker Federation (WSF) has since brought together professional and amateur bodies, including women’s and disability organisations, providing opportunities for all to compete on the same field of play.

WSF President Jason Ferguson said: “Today represents an important landmark in what is a serious bid for the inclusion of billiard sports at the Paris 2024 Games. With the levels of participation in our great sport consistently increasing and new opportunities being created by the WSF and its partners for people across the globe to be able to pick up a cue, the sport has never been in a stronger position to take its rightful place on the Olympic programme.”

Following today’s announcement of the bid, next year will see a further demonstration event staged in Paris which will showcase the Olympic values of billiard sports.