It’s yet again another huge boost for ‘Special athletes’ in their drive to get the best of attention and equal participation in Sports as Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports approves Para-Badminton event in the next National Sports Festival and National Youth Games.
Ekeoma Samuel, the National Coordinator of Para-Badminton revealed this in an exclusive interview with the correspondent of www.owosports.com.ng after an exhibition game of Para-Badminton at the just concluded National Youth Games.
“We thank God that the Minister of Youth and Sport, Sunday Dare, out of his magnanimity and kindness has approved our participation in the National Sports Festival and Youth Games
- and that’s to say that Para-Badminton has entered in to the mainstream sports in Nigeria” Ekeoma noted.
While commending the Minister for his efforts, he also applauded the caretaker chairman of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Barrister Francis Orbih and a past board member of the federation, Alhaji Mohammed Maina for the development of Para-Badminton and breakthrough of National recognition.
Ekeoma noted that the recognition will provide a level playing ground for equal opportunity in sports
participation as players will be able to perform and attain any peak in their career and also secure employment opportunities.
“It means that there’s great prospect for the players and break a barrier of discrimination by the inclusion, equal participation in your choosen career”
The coordinator revealed that
Nigerian para-badminton athletes are currently ranked first in Africa due to their exploits on the continent and the global stage.
Stressing the need for Advocacy for the sports, he urged the fourth estate of the realm (media) to do enough in promoting the Sports.
He further added that a sustainable sponsorship, updated facilities, regular funding and competitions will be sports to attain its potential.
Among the players who are currently making waves and ranked high in Africa are Eniola Bolaji from Kwara State, Eze Chukwuebuka and Chinyere Lucky from Abia State, Dada Dickson Seyi of Delta States, Victor Ozurumba from Imo State amongst others.
Also speaking after the exhibition game, Eniola Bolaji, who won gold medal in the 2020 world Para-Badminton Championship in Spain expressed her happiness over the development which she said will inspire Para-Badminton players to do more.