…Counts gains of Ghana playing tour
Bringing Netball Back Club is committed to the developing the game the country, working with the Lagos State Sports Commission and the Netball Federation to increase participation in the sport.
On the heels of the successful maiden tour of the Lagos based club to Ghana, BNB in partnership with the stakeholders will encourage emergence of netball clubs across Nigeria.
President of the club, Abimbola Smith who is optimistic about the future of the game and the prospects of Nigeria competing at major international championships urged the private sector to support netball.
Smith who led the 15 man team to the West Africa Netball Festival held at the Accra Sports stadium stated that the club’s aim is to see netball re-introduced back into Nigeria as the number one competitive team sport of choice for women and young girls.
While revealing plans to develop the game in the country, the player/coach explained that the club is already working with Netball Federation of Nigeria through the Secretary, Hellen Manufor, who is an ex-England netball player to introduce and run netball programs for schools.
She said “We are trying to work with Lagos state and in that regard, last October we actually held a training where we had six sports teachers from across the different education districts in Lagos come together for a netball workshop facilitated by the Secretary of Nigeria Netball Federation, Hellen Manufor and we had about 40 teachers taking part in that and it was very encourage. We are committed, Hellen is committed to following up on that workshop with subsequent clinics and we are really hoping that Lagos state would come on board and continue to support us and encourage us”
The West Africa Netball Clubs Festival which was won by hosts, Accra Golden Maidens by 35 to 11 was a big boost for BNB in their efforts to promote the sport in the region. Smith commended the private sector for their support to the club adding that the gains of their playing tour of Ghana will help push netball into the forefront of sports in Nigeria.
“We still have a long way to go but we are also taking encouragement because there has been an improvement from the last time we play the Accra Golden Maidens. It’s not that we don’t have the ability and capacity, I just don’t think that we are paying enough attention to netball as a team sport of choice for women in Nigeria and I think it is something we should look at especially on the back of the recently concluded Commonwealth games where we see teams like Uganda and Malawi performed so well. It is now time for the rest of Sub-Sahara Africa to do something in the netball space. We have to thank the private sector for supporting us. The truth of matter is that, there is no way we could have gotten here without their support. We will continue to reach out and thank them for supporting the vision that we have for promoting netball, giving us opportunity like this to play competitive netball. As you know we are the only netball club in Nigeria, so this opportunity goes beyond the results. The opportunity to be able to come out here and compete is a win for us” Smith said.
The West Africa Netball Clubs Fest was organised under the auspacies of Netball Federation of Ghana lead by President, Reverend Emmanuel Nikoi and supported by one of United Nations partners, Amen Amen Institute. The Golden Maidens of Accra are expected in Lagos on October 1st for the Nigeria/Ghana Friendly Cup.
The BNB Ghana tour was supported by SKY Enterprises, Model Steel Industries, Alkanes Petroleum & Gas and TSL Logistics.