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Tare Pet are Bayelsa State netball champions

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Champion, Tare Pet Montessori Group of Schools Yenagoa

Tare Pet Montessori Group of Schools Yenagoa are the winners of the second edition of  Bayelsa State Netball Challenge.

They were victorious in the competition held in Yenagoa. The competition featured six other secondary schools.

They are Nadam International School, Redeemer’s International School, Tessy School, Belary School, St Jude’s Girls Secondary School and CSS Otuokpoti  as well as Dynamite Divas Netball Club.

All the matches were played in the indoor sports hall of the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, as part of the events marking the Children’s Day celebration in the state.

St Jude’s Girls Secondary School

The two-day event which was organized by Bayelsa State Netball Association (BYSNA) was powered by Community Sport and Educational Development Initiative (CSED).

A day before the competition started, 21 Physical Education teachers and coaches attended a half day safeguarding and netball rule training that was led by the current BYSNA Coordinator, Catherine Sasuode.

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Bayelsa State Director of Sports, Sir Braveman Wodi and the Chairperson of Bayelsa State branch of FIDA, Dame Debra Pamosoo, watched some of the matches of the competition. Marvelous Opuene, a 10-year-old primary 6 student of Tare Pet Montessori Group of Schools was the youngest netballer to take part in the competition. Marvelous played for Dynamite Divas Netball Club.  

At the end of the event, a trophy was presented to the winning school, while medals were presented to students of the four schools who made it to the semi-final in the round robin competition.

A Trustee of CSED Initiative stated that in their bid to encourage the students’ academic pursuit, they will donate eighty books to the libraries of the four top secondary schools before the end of the current school year.

It would be call that CSED Initiative re-introduced netball to Bayelsa State in January 2023, via their PROJECT 2027 programme.

Bayelsa State is currently the most active netball area out of the current 6 states of the country where CSED Initiative has done the training of P.E. teachers in netball. CSED Initiative also stated that because of the level of enthusiasm showed by Netball P.E. teachers, they will work with their supporters and partners to bring other sports training opportunities to the teachers and students in the state.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Netball

Refugee Week and International Olympic Day marked in Cdagom 1 Camp

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As part of the sports events marking the Refugee Week 2024 and the International Olympic Day, a netball exhibition event drawing participants  from three refugee camps in Cross Rivers State of Nigeria took place.

 The venue was the netball field of Adagom Camp 1 and participants were from  Adagom 1, Adagom 3, and Ukende refugee camps in Ogoja Local Government area of Cross River State.  The event was organized by CSED (Community Sport and Educational Development) Initiative with the approval and support of the PM of SEMA, the Adagom 1 SEMA Supervisor, and the leaders of the three refugee camps.

Twenty players from each camp were kitted by Lord’s Taverners and CSED Initiative. Each netballer was provided a sport book (“Kick It”) that was donated by the Uxbridge library of London Borough of Hillingdon (UK).

The netballers from the Ukende camp won the two exhibition games. The highlight of the event was the presentation of a five thousand Naira, educational vouchers to each of the sixty netballers.

It would be recalled that netball was recently introduced to the three Ogoja refugee camps after CSED Initiative “Project 2027” training of P.E. teachers in Cross River state was held in April 2024. The “Project 2027” training event led to the certification of coaches Stephanie Obi, Marceline Ode, and Shantel Eseh, who are Cameroonian citizens.

These three coaches are now charged with the responsibility of providing the girls and ladies in their respective camp with access to learn the basic of netball, identify, and nurture the talents of the budding netballers.

CSED Initiative with the support of Lord’s Taverners, UNHCR, Cross River SEMA, and other relevant partners/stakeholders hope to use access to playing netball to provide psycho-social support and access to educational/life skills training opportunities to the residents of the three camps.

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The immediate goal of CSED Initiative is to build a multi-purpose cement playing surface for the use of the netballers in each of the separate camps.

Furthermore, some of these netballers will have access to take part in the “Sporting Coders” programme, which will allow them access to learn how to code, while at the same time playing netball.

The organisers of the event stated that their ultimate goal is to give the Cameroonian refugees a sporting chance to compete with other girls all over the world; in an attempt to feature in the netball event of the 2032 Olympic games in Brisbane.

The Cameroonians will definitely be inspired by the story of Mary Cholhok Nuba, a former South Sudanese refugee, who is now a netball superstar in England.

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Finidi Georges’ foreign assistants have Nigerian roots!

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The Nigeria Football Federation president, Ibrahim Gusau has revealed the five tacticians who will assist the new Nigeria manager, Finidi George. Sports Village Square’s investigation reveals that four of the five coaches either have roots or links in Nigeria.

The only exception is Mehmet Ozturk who is from Turkey. He will be the team’s match reader and analyst. The 59 year old have had stints with various European teams.

  Daniel Amokachi is well known as a former Super Eagles player. He is joined by  Benjamin James, Chima Onyeike and goalkeeper trainer, Olatunji Baruwa.

Benjamin James had previously featured for Shooting Stars of Ibadan and Super Stores of Lagos. He is from Bayelsa  State.

He later moved to Italy and Germany. For years, he was with Bundesliga club Hoffenheim. He will be the fitness trainer as he has a diploma in fitness from the sports university and has worked with various top European clubs like VfB Stuttgart, PAOK and Willem II.

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Chima Onyeike is a Dutch coach of Nigerian origin.

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Netball global ambassador declares interest in promotion in Nigeria

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Current World Netball Ambassador, Mary Waya has restated her commitment to promote the development of netball in Nigeria at the grassroots, schools and community levels, with the ultimate goal of leading to the emergence of netball clubs in future.

She made this known recently during a telephone discussion with a Trustee of CSED Initiative, the sport for change NGO that is currently blazing the trail for the development of netball at the grassroots and school levels in Nigeria.

Waya is the ex-Tanzania, Namibia, and Malawi national netball coach. She is also a former coach of Mavericks Netball Team of England that plays in the Netball Super League.

It would be recalled that in March 2020,  Waya facilitated the training and Netball Africa certification of 24 Nigerians, as netball coaches.

At the time Mary Waya visited Nigeria in March 2020, Nigeria had just recorded her first few cases of Covid-19.

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She defied Covid-19 in order to lay the foundation for the revival of netball in Nigeria.

At that point in time, netball in Nigeria was not only in a state of coma, it was like a patient in an isolation ward that has been abandoned to die an untimely death.

After the post- Covid-19 restriction was lifted in Nigeria, and normalcy gradually returned to the sport and education sectors, CSED Initiative started its “Project 2027” grassroots netball development programme in July 2022.

The major goals of “Project 2027” are to bring the game of netball to the awareness of one million Nigerian school children, train and equip one thousand two hundred P.E. Teachers in netball, and through the process promote the right to play netball of the Nigerian school girls.

Till date, CSED Initiative through their “Project 2027” programme has trained and equipped more than 350 P.E. Teachers, athletes, and community youths to become netball coaches.

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The trained netball coaches have subsequently introduced netball to school students in seven states in Nigeria.

The next state on the “Project 2027” netball tour is going to be Cross River State.

Waya stated that her goal is to see that the foundation she laid in March 2020 is built upon by credible Nigerians who have the game of netball at heart.

She stated that she is willing to visit Nigeria soon in her capacity as a Netball Africa trainer to support the developmental work of CSED Initiative and any other NGO or government agency with passion and technical knowledge and use netball to develop the potentials of the girl child in Nigeria.

Waya mentioned that her future focus in respect of supporting the development of netball in Nigeria is to nurture and develop more Netball Africa certified coaches.

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As well as develop the netball umpires and administrators who will take Nigerian netball to the next level.

She stated that she is particularly pleased to know that CSED Initiative has started discussion with the Department of Human Kinetics and Sports Science of UNIBEN and University of Uyo with a view of collaborating with them in respect of introducing a certificate programme in netball, as well as piloting an online sport for change course that would be specifically targeted at female teachers and female athletes. T

The two university departments would also be supported to carry out research on how sport for change practitioners could use netball and other sports to support, safeguard, and empower vulnerable persons (IDPs, wards of the state, and refugees) in Nigeria.  

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