NTF committed to promoting gender equality in tennis participation, officiating –President


President of Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Ifedayo Akindoju, says the federation is committed to promoting gender equality with regards to the participation and officiating of tennis events in the country.

He made the remarks while declaring a maiden International Tennis Federation’s Advantage All workshop open on Friday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Tennis Umpires Association (NTUA) made history on Friday in Abuja.

This followed the successful hosting of its maiden International Tennis Federation’s Advantage All programme, thus setting the pace for other African countries.

The workshop was organised by the NTF, in conjunction with the International Tennis Federation ( ITF), with no fewer than 20 female tennis officials from across the country in participation.

It aims to further deepen the domestication of the initiative which the country formally signed into in 2021 at the Annual General Meeting of ITF in Glasgow, Scotland.

Akindoju extolled the milestones bein
g recorded by the Officiating Department of the Federation, noting that officiating in Nigeria had advanced beyond imagination ‘as ladies in tennis officiating have done so well.

‘What we are witnessing here today is another landmark to show that ladies are very interested in sports and in tennis in particular.

‘As a Federation, we are promoting gender fairness, gender equality in terms of opportunities and participation, and have put in place a well monitored and guided mechanism to ensure that no body is treated unfairly’, Akindoju said.

Acting Chairman of NTUA, Rose Abu, encouraged the participants to make adequate use of the opportunity to develop and sharpen their officiating knowledge and skills.

Abu thanked the ITF for endorsing the event, and commended the effort and commitment of the President of NTF and the country’s Officiating Manager, Kehinde Ijaola, for making the day a reality.

Gold Badge Chair Umpire and an Advantage All Global Ambassador, Eva Asderaki-Moore led a plethora of virtual inte
rnational goodwill messages from female tennis Umpires across the world to the participants.

With the theme, Tennis Officiating: Place, Value Of Women In Officiating And Empowerment, the workshop had series of paper presentations on topical issues.

NAN also reports that a minute silence was earlier observed in honour of the immediate past Nigeria’s Advantage All Ambassador and one of the country’s finest tennis officials, late Arinola Isa-Banire who died in July 2023.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Runsewe hails Oboh, Nigeria’s female golf sensation, on U.S. invitational triumph


The President, Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, OON has commended Nigeria’s female golf sensation, Georgia Oboh, on her recent victory at the John Shippen Women’s Invitational in Michigan, U.S.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 23-year-old Oboh, on Wednesday, captured the 2024 John Shippen Women’s Invitational and earned exemptions to compete in two LPGA tournaments – the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and the Dow Championship.

Oboh will tee it up alongside the world’s best female golfers at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give starting June 13, after shooting 69-70-139 on the same course Tuesday and Wednesday to earn a three-stroke victory at the SHIPPEN event.

Runsewe, who gave the commendation in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said that Oboh’s victory was an inspiration to other children back home and a testament to the fact that hard work pays

‘Congratulations to our very own Georgia Oboh on your well-deserved victory at the John Shippen Women’s Invitation
al at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan

‘Your victory is indeed a fulcrum of great possibilities and renewed hope for Nigeria and Nigerians.

‘We believe in you to keep the Nigerian flag flying high and keep doing your very best, to ensure that you represent our dear country as a good ambassador of the game of golf,’ he said.

NAN also reports that another Nigerian female pro golfer, Anita Uwadia, tied for third position with Ashley Shaw of U.S. in the same tournament, making it the first time in an international professional ladies’ golf tournament where two Nigerians made the top three.

The NGF president noted that the performance of the girls was a very rare one and not a mean feat.

He added that they had both distinguished themselves as the very first Nigerians and one of the few black professional female golfers on the top stage.

He said that the federation would continue to support the golfers, to ensure that they reach their full potential as they continue to make the country proud
and showcase themselves to the world.

He also advised parents to always support and encourage their children to start playing golf at an early age, adding that it was a sport they could be engaged in for the rest of their lives.

‘Hand your child a golf club, and you might be surprised what happens.

‘Your child might not be the next Tiger Woods, but golf can make a big impact in a young life.

‘Kids can benefit from the sport mentally, physically, and emotionally. The sport can set them up for success as they get older.

‘Many of the skills learned on the course translate to real life,’ he said.

NAN also reports that Oboh and her chosen partner will compete in the Dow Championship starting June 27 in Midland, Michigan.

The John Shippen Women’s Invitational which Oboh and Uwadia were part of is a series of competitions created to provide playing opportunities on the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour for the top Black amateur and professional women and men golfers.

The events are named after John Shippen, Jr., who wa
s both the first American-born golf professional and the country’s first Black golf professional.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NCS four points away from promotion


OPUWO: The Namibian Correctional Services (NCS) Football Club needs four points from the final two games to secure the Southern Stream First Division league title and a spot in the Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL) next season.

According to the recently adjusted league closing schedules released by the league’s chairperson, Jakobus Murs Markus, the league title will be decided on Sunday, as the remaining rounds 21 and 22 are slated for this coming Saturday and Sunday. Twelve encounters are set to take place across four venues.

The NCS’s road to the title and probable promotion will not be easy, as they will face a formidable foe in Eleven Arrows on Saturday at the Mondesa Stadium in Swakopmund.

However, the title-determining match will be between NCS and another title contender, Blue Boys, who are three points behind them.

Blue Boys can potentially win the title if they win both of their games, one of which is against their closest contender for the crown, NCS, and hope their opponent loses on Saturd
ay.

However, NCS only needs to defeat Eleven Arrows and tie with Blue Boys, but these are daunting encounters since the coastal boys also have a point to prove as they aim to return to the league.

NCS leads the league with 53 points and a 41-goal difference. If NCS and Blue Boys are even at 56 points at the end of the season, they could advance owing to their better goal difference.

While the race for the league is heating up, relegation fears mount as Oranjemund, Davos, Try Again, Black Africa, and Deutscher Turn- und Sportverein (DTS) all strive for survival.

On Saturday, Try Again faces DTS at the Keetmanshoop Show Ground stadium, while Oranjemund hosts Davos at home in thrilling relegation clashes.

Blue Boys will meet Latinos in a must-win game at Mondesa Stadium to boost their title and promotion ambitions, while Black Africa faces Dates Eleven in a relegation battle, and Mariental Sports Club will welcome Ramblers at home.

The champion and two to-be demoted teams will be determined on Sunday, when
Oranjemund takes on DTS, while Try Again and Davos brace for another relegation battle.

Eleven Arrows will play Latinos, Dates Eleven will meet Ramblers, and Mariental will face a battered Black Africa in the season’s last game.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

KK Palace and Golden Bees race to return to premier league


OPUWO: Sunday is D-day in the Northwest Stream First Division, with King Kauluma (KK) Palace and Golden Bees battling for a berth in the Namibia Premier Football League (NPFL) in nail-biting encounters that could send either team to the NPFL.

With only two games remaining in the first division league, the Premier League spot battle heats up as both KK Palace (1) and Golden Bees (2) sit atop the table with a two-point difference. Saturday and Sunday’s upcoming matches are must-wins for both if they intend to return to the Premier League next season.

KK Palace has set its sights on joining the NPFL next season following an impressive debut of 12 wins, four draws, and four losses in 20 games. They lead the league with 40 points.

However, the Outjo-based team is not far behind, as they will attempt to pounce on any mistakes made by the league leaders in order to secure the title and return to the league they last played in 23 years ago.

The Ondangwa team, who competed in the NPL during the 2004/05 season, is
also keen to return to the top division and will avoid missteps in the process.

KK Palace will host arch-rival Khuse Lions on Saturday at the Andima ya Toivo sports field in a game they cannot afford to draw or lose, before facing Onambula United at the same venue in Ondangwa in a must-win game for the title.

However, the Golden Bees must fight tooth and nail as they travel away from home in the league title deciders, beginning with a game against a formidable rival, Eleven Warriors, on Saturday at Omulunga Stadium in Grootfontein. On Sunday, the Bees will travel to Otavi to face demoted Touch and Go.

Other fixtures this weekend include African Motto against Onambula United, Young Chiefs versus Ongwediva City, Golden Bigs against Oshikuku Young Stars, and Touch and Go hosting Outjo Football Academy on Saturday.

On Sunday, African Motto will face Khuse Lions, Young Chiefs will meet Oshikuku Young Stars, Golden Bigs will play Ongwediva City, and Eleven Warriors will take on Outjo Football Academy.

While th
e promotion race continues, so does the effort to avoid relegation. Oshikuku Young Stars, Young Chiefs, Outjo Football Academy and Ongwediva City are still in trouble.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Rwanda Policy serves as deterrence for illegal migrants – UK envoy


Dr Richard Montgomery, the British High Commissioner in Nigeria says his country’s Rwanda Policy is intended to serve as discouragement to illegal migrants seeking asylum in the European country.

Montgomery said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

He explained that the UK Parliament had agreed in a bill passed into law to partner with Rwanda in handling illegal migrants to the UK and deporting them to Rwanda.

According to him, the Rwanda Policy is a way of sending signal to illegal migrants that even if they are able to find their way to the UK through the wrong channel, they would still not succeed in remaining in the UK.

He said that the migrants would be housed, looked after, and if they have genuine asylum concerns, their cases would be assessed and processed.

He however said that the agreement with Rwanda still had to be legally ratified, and to go through its own processes. But I believe that it will be ratified as an international treaty.

‘It is really important t
o stress that this is about illegal migration to the UK. It is about people who are often exploited by criminal gangs to take what is an awfully terribly perilous journey.

‘That is crossing the English channel in tiny boats run by criminal gangs, with the promise of getting them into the UK. This is really tragic because many people die while crossing’.

The envoy also said it was premature to say whether or not Nigerians were part of the policy at the current stage of the implementation plan.

He noted that it would not be appropriate to talk about individual cases or to talk about operational planning.

He gave an assurance that some safeguards have been put in place to check the entire process.

‘We have been working directly with relevant authorities to ensure that there is a decent standard of housing for the people that will be deported.

‘They will have access to whatever level of education they need from primary to tertiary and vocational education.

‘They will have the right to work in Rwanda. They
are economic migrants, but there will be some people who may have legitimate asylum claims.

‘We have been working with the Rwandan judiciary and their bar association to ensure that the migrants have ‘caseworkers’ and legal representation to go through due process,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Perm Sec tasks sports ministry officials on professionalism, productivity


The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports Development, Mrs Tinuke Watti has charged administrative and executive officers in the ministry on the need for professionalism and enhanced productivity.

Watti made the call on Tuesday in Abuja, at a sensitization workshop for administrative and executive officers in the ministry on professionalism on human resource management in the Federal Civil Service.

She underscored the need for ministry officials to do more in obtaining the necessary professional certifications from approved professional bodies in order to enhance efficient service delivery.

‘Henceforth Administrative officers are required to obtain professional certifications from relevant and approved professional bodies for progression in the Service.

‘Specifically, possession of such certifications shall be one of the conditions for promotion from GL 13-GL 14., in addition to other criteria prescribed in the Public Service Rules and Guidelines on Appointment, Promotion and Discipline,’ she sa
id.

Watti, who stressed the importance of training and capacity building, said the workshop was part of the reforms by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan aimed at efficient service delivery.

She expressed optimism that the workshop would go a long way in equipping and enhancing the capacity of officials in line with international best practices.

Earlier, Mrs Modupe Bankole, Managing Consultant, Diadems Global Support Services, the lead Resource person at the workshop stressed the importance of professionalism and certification to enhance productivity.

‘Given the different reforms from the Head of Service, it is important that competent officials manage human management.

‘The staff needs to know what competences they need to acquire, what skills and how they can give their best in the civil service,’ she said.

Bankole said that given the strategic importance of the sports sector, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the mandate of the ministry was realised.

She sa
id that accredited professional bodies were also part of the workshop to ensure continuous capacity building, while Diadems will continue to work with the ministry to track deliveries.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that professional bodies at the workshop included the Chartered Institute of Human Resources, and Strategic Management (CIHRM) and Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria