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24 Nigerians Get Netball Certification

By Cornelius Ehimiaghe
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After four days of hard labour, twenty-four Nigerians recently received their netball certification from INF (International Netball Federation) Instructor, Mary Waya. This first of it's kind netball seminar was organised by CSED (Community Sport and Educational Development) Initiative, who were supported by three Edo State agencies (Ministry of Education, Edo State Sports Commission and Edojobs Agency). Lord's Taverners and Kits for the World supported with some of the kits that were used for the seminar; while Foundation for a Drug Free World, provided the free four thousand drug education brochures that were distributed to the seminar attendees.

The Management and demonstration athletes of IDPs Camp Uhogua played a major role in the success of this seminar, as their newly built netball court was used for the three day practical aspect of this seminar. To crown it all, one of the demonstration athletes, Bethel Omigie received a bronze certification for her participation in the training course and for her leadership qualities in leading the core thirty girls at the IDPs Camp, who now play netball on a daily basis.

Six (6) of the new netball coaches received certification in the African Level 1 category. These new coaches are: Izedomwen Kelvin Osazee, Dr Grace Ataha, Tidah Gabriel Kwedu, Bridget Anum, Okeke Chika Onyebuchi and Edith Anum Oku. The other coaches/umpires were certified in the gold, silver and bronze categories. These new coaches are teachers from primary and secondary school in Edo and Lagos States, as well as from Abuja.

Dr Grace Ataha (University of Uyo) is the only university Lecturer that attended this free seminar in which the attendees and demonstration athletes were provided with free lunch. Four of the new coaches were nominated by the Association of Former Female Athletes of Nigeria (AFFAN) and one of the new coach represented Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF).

At the end of the seminar, some of the attendees had expressed gratitude to INF Instructor, Mary Waya for going beyond the call of duty to ensure that they grasp the fundamental of netball; which they feel would equip them with the knowledge to discover and develop future netball stars for Nigeria. The attendees also commended CSED National Coordinator, Edema Fuludu for the opportunity to attend this seminar and for the hospitality of the Trustees of CSED Initiative, who bankrolled this international seminar.

CSED founder, Cornelius Ehimiaghe was quoted as saying: "CSED decided to hold this seminar because we cannot continue to stomach the inaction of individuals who call themselves the Board Members of the Nigeria Netball Federation (NNF), as this "do nothing" Board Members who were "illegally" imposed on Nigerians by Hellen Manufor has nothing to show for their current illegal existence. Furthermore, Hellen Manufor who has claimed she is the General Secretary of the NNF is based in London. The one million dollar question is: who elected, selected or appointed Hellen Manufor as General Secretary of NNF?"

"If Hellen Manufor cannot answer the above question, how come the hierarchy of the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports and their Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) counterpart, have allowed Hellen Manufor to inflict mortal damage on the Nigerian netball ecosystem, while other former netball players like Mary Waya (Malawi), Dumisani Chauke and Cecilia Molokwane (South Africa) are developing talent and inspiring girls; our own fellow Nigerian (Hellen Manufor) continues to use the power she does not have to block the development of netball in Nigeria."

"Last year, as part of the INF Global Development Programme, their Team had already packed their bags ready with a view to visit Nigeria; only for Helen Manufor to deceive INF officials that she is planning a similar course in Nigeria." True to her colour; "we no see Helen Manufor, we no see netball." "This is the pathetic story of Nigerian netball, under Hellen Manufor, who has not bothered to arrange one single official netball match in almost eight years that she has occupied the position of the General Secretary of NNF, even when she did not complete the compulsory one year NYSC programme that every Nigerian graduate has to do in order to work in a graduate level job." God save Nigerian girls and women from this "Manufor virus." Sunday Dare the Honourable (Minister of Youths and Sports) is expected to come to judgement within the next few weeks or Nigeria will fail to meet it's commitment to achieving SDG Number 5, which involves using sports to promote gender equality.