Hardworking members of the Nigeria Squash Racket Federation led by the President, Boye Oyerinde, has been given kudos for the introduction of the national juniors ranking for U13, U-16 and U-19 scheduled to hold from the 6thto 10th August.
The event meant to hold at the Squash section of the Ikoyi Club 1938 in Lagos however got a boost from the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI) which donated 50 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) branded shirts and knickers for the top 10-ranked players.
Speaking at the presentation, Chief Mary Onyali, the Executive Director (Technical) said, “we have observed since the election of this board, a silent but effective revolution has been taking place in the sport.”
“We know how and where it pinches. The fact that those who play the sport are major drivers is what is keeping you on the fast lane. That is why athletics, basketball, wrestling, taekwondo, scrabble have distinguished themselves amongst the federations in the country. We commend your efforts.”
“That is why our management decided that since the FIRS gave us the branded shirts for children and youths on our sports development programme, we must identify with you and also teach our children and youths that it pays to pay their taxes if we need development in our nation.”
In response, the President of the federation, Mr Boye Oyerinde said, “we are surprised but very appreciative of this gesture. It lifted our spirits so high knowing that after all we are being monitored and watched from the unusual corners.”
“The gifts will also challenge the children and youths who will get it to know that they need to keep working harder if they need to be better appreciated. I must also commend the FIRS for this identification with the future of our nation’s children and youths. This is rare but proactive. We feel so proud of their identification with sports development.”
Mr Oyerinde also specifically thanked General Olusegun Obasanjo for his extraordinary support to the federation amongst other personalities who have identified with the efforts we are putting together to return the sport to prominence in the nation and in Africa.
He announced that the first Chief Olusegun Obasanjo national squash open senior and U-19 championship will hold at the Olusegun Obasanjo presidential library squash courts in Abeokuta from 13th to 18th August 2018. The prize money is N1.8million.
Oyerinde said the “focus of the federation is to build a new generation of young players of the sport who can make the nation proud. We shall do our best to drive the grassroots development and plans we have set out in our mission.”
Director General of the NSDFI, Mr Olajide Fashikun told his guests that “we shall come up with a unique structure to support the Federation’s efforts. Modern sports development is a community-driven and funded initiative. No government anywhere in the world can spend the kind of money in sport. If we design a centre for Squash excellence and domicile the funding and use the proceeds for the sports’ growth, we shall get to our destination in good speed.”
Messrs Sam Aminu, Uche Mba, Yinka Durosinlorun, Boye Oyerinde, Olajide Fashikun and Chief Mary Onyali
The former Zamalek SC of Egypt player commended the new leadership of the Nigeria Squash Federation for their feats so far which is very encouraging.”
Also in the Squash Federation delegation include former players Yinka Durosinlorun, Mr. Uche Uba and the Secretary General of the federation Mr Samuel Aminu. (Gongnews)