Kwara awards automatic scholarships to FCT handballers
‘We will ensure they maintain allegiance to Federal Capital Territory’
The Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) Director of Sports, Chief Dilichukwu Onyedinma is elated that four of the territory’s female handballers have been awarded automatic scholarships by the Kwara State government to study at the University of Ilorin. But Onyedimma said that the FCT would ensure the players were not tactically taken over by the Kwara State.
The players were offered the admission following their outstanding performances at the just concluded National Youth Games held in Ilorin.
The FCT finished in the 11th position with four gold, three silver and seven bronze medals at the National Youth Games won by Delta State, which hauled 21 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze medals. Akwa Ibom State with 16 gold, 15 silver and 15 bronze medals came second, while Ondo State occupied the third position with 12 gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze medals. A total of 35 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, were represented at the games.
Onyedinma said the handball players would however be allowed to represent the University of Ilorin during the Nigeria University Games (NUGA) and not Kwara State.
“These are very young players we discovered and still have a lot of years ahead to represent the FCT. “I am proud that the FCT presented the youngest team at the Youth Games. The athletes we featured were between the ages of eight and 13; and should the government eventually implement the decision to make the games U-15, we would be at a very good advantage. Because of the tender ages of some of our athletes, some parents accompanied their wards, and I am proud of the 11th position we finished at the Games.
“Most of our athletes at the games were a delight to watch in their respective events,” Onyedinma said. The FCT Director of Sports said recom e holiday camp we organise to bring our athletes together, these athletes and many others would improve in their respective events.”
She pointed out that the FCT featured in 16 of the 28 approved events, and handball was one of the FCT’s strongholds in which they grabbed the gold medal to confirm the team’s supremacy in the sport.
“We know some of the areas of our strength, and we worked hard to excel in them. Beside Handball, we have good athletes in table tennis, gymnastics, athletics, badminton, chess and scrabbles. And following our players’ efforts in chess, the FCT was given 10 Chess Boards,” she enthused.
Onyedinma disclosed that talks were at advanced state with corporate organisations to revive the FCT Handball Open Championship to constantly engage the players.
“We’re not limiting our development to handball alone. We are also working hard to ensure other sports are given the needed attention to make the FCT a sports hub of the country. Already, we are known in handball in all categories, and we are working hard to improve our ratings in other sports such as table tennis, gymnastic, tennis, athletics, badminton, chess, scrabbles, and karate”, she added.
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