The BASIC OLIVE OPPORTUNITY SPORTS TRAINING (BOOST), one of the flagship projects of the NIGERIA SPORTS DEVELOPMENT FUND INC (NSDFI ) meant to bring one million children into sports in the country in three years has started yielding the desired results, this is evident in the performance of TEAM KWARA handball team at the just concluded NATIONAL YOUTH GAMES NYG in ILORIN the KWARA SATE capital where the team won gold medal in the female category.
The big news is that Nine (9) of the Fourteen (14) members of the team are products of the BOOST INITIATIVE of the NSDFI.
The bigger news however is that two of the nine gold winning girls have been invited to the NATIONAL HANDBALL CAMP.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with sunrisetimes.com.ng, MICHEAL ADEKEYE, a handball coach under the NSDFI PROJECT in OFFA, KWARA STATE said the BOOST PROJECT has exposed hundreds of children to the limitless opportunities available in taking part in sporting activities.
According to ADEKEYE the NSDFI HANDBALL TEAM is made up of secondary school girls aged 13-15, which cuts across two schools in OFFA LOCAL GOVT AREA of KWARA STATE, namely ANGLICAN COMPREHENSIVE COLLEGE, OFFA and OYUN BAPTIST HIGH SCHOOL. The project also have a team for boys in the same age category.
Narrating the journey to the podium of the NYG, he said “Our quest for glory started with our daily training. We were committed to training despite little materials to work with”.
“ Then I took the girls on a one day training tour to ilorin with coach Isiaka Atanda of the Kwara State handball association to hone the skill of the girls and give them the needed exposure”
“During this tour the chairman of Kwara state handball association who took interest in us invited us for more play-offs. Some of the girls were selected and we intensified our training. 10 of our girls were eventually invited to the camp”
“A 5 day camp was put together for the girls at Oyun Baptist High School. Total number of girls from NSDFI and ilorin girls that came for the camp was 17 of which 14 will be picked to represent KWARA STATE at the NATIONAL YOUTH GAMES”
“We engaged them in training twice and sometimes thrice a day, feeding was spearheaded by the Chairman of KWARA STATE HANDBALL ASSOCIATION. We invited the senior girls for a friendly match for two days which also helped our preparation.
“The camp was September 2nd to 7th, we then moved to ilorin on 7th for the Games Proper”
“We finally picked 14 girls for the team kwara handball girl team from the total 17 girls in camp, 9 of the final 14 pick came from the nsdfi team, just one of our girls was dropped but we took her along anyway to have a feel of the competition atmosphere” an elated ADEKEYE concluded.
The girls journey to the podium at the NATIONAL YOUTH GAMES started with a narrow 18-17 win over TEAM ABIA state in the first game followed by an easy win over TEAM ANAMBRA it ended 23-0.
The final game was against the girls from LAGOS STATE and it ended 28-19, in favour of TEAM KWARA clinching the gold medal .
For the nine (9) girls from NSDFI handball team that made the final 14 players which include DAMILOLA BAMBE, MAYOWA AFOLABI, RUKAYA OLOYEDE, AMINA HAMMER, SULIYA MOSHOOD ,ASMAU OLANREWAJU,FATHIA LAWAL, FAVOUR ADEDEJI and SEMILORE RAHEEM it was a fairy-tale ending to a dream that started in OFFA.
Meanwhile, DAMILOLA BAMBE and RUKAYAT OLOYEDE have been invited to the NATIONAL HANDBALL CAMP.
The NIGERIA SPORTS DEVELOPMENT FUND INC (NSDFI) was incorporated in 1997 with the CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION (CAC with a mandate to develop the Nigerian sports sector.
The BASIC OLIVE OPPORTUNITY SPORTS TRAINING (BOOST) meant to bring one million children into sports in the country in three years is one of the pilot projects of the NIGERIA SPORTS DEVELOPMENT FUND INC (NSDFI).