Nigeria’s volleyballers arrive in Ghana
Nigeria’s volleyball teams (men and women) departed for Ghana yesterday for the African Zone 111 Championship, which will also serve as build up to the 2015 All Africa Games scheduled for Congo Brazzaville next month.
Four years ago in Maputo, Nigeria’s volleyball male and female teams narrowly missed out in the race for medals, a challenge both players and officials of the teams have vowed to tackle in Congo.
Before their departure for Ghana yesterday, Technical Adviser of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Coach Tony Oghuma, said they would use the Zone 111 Championship to sharpen their skills ahead the challenges in Congo.
Team Nigeria has won several medals in past editions of the All Africa Games through the male team, but the gold has been elusive. The nearest Nigeria has gotten was the 2-3 defeat to Egypt in the final during the Abuja 2003 edition, tagged COJA Games.
Oghuma, a veteran volleyball coach, who led the team to Jo’burg ’99 edition of the All Africa Games, is of the opinion that things would be different in Congo.
Over 10 countries within the West African sub region are expected to converge in Ghana for the championship, which will last till August 25.
The President of Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), Engineer Habu Gumel, who doubles as president of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, is optimistic that volleyball will give good account of itself when hostilities begin in Congo Brazzaville from September 4 to 19.
Apart from the male and female volleyball teams qualifying for this year’s AAG, the country’s Beach volleyball team will also be part of Team Nigeria’s contingent to the Games in Congo.
Gumel said the qualification of the teams was a major achievement for the country, just as he has charged handlers of the teams to do everything possible to give the players the training required to conquer Africa in Congo.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Alhassan Yakmut, has urged all teams preparing for the battle of Congo to take their training seriously.
Yakmut, who spoke from Brazil, where he attended a meeting of all Chef-de-maison ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games, said Team Nigeria was paying adequate attention to the various camps preparing for the Games.
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