90 Players Storm Ogun For 5th Mama Alaso Racket Games - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Friday, November 12, 2021

90 Players Storm Ogun For 5th Mama Alaso Racket Games


ABEOKUTA - No fewer than 90 young players from over 12 states in Nigeria converged in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital for the 3-Day annual Mama Alaso squash, tennis and badminton tournament.


The events which served off on Thursday, would feature under 16 and 19 boys and girls in the squash category while the tennis and badminton categories would feature under 14, 16 and 18 boys and girls.


The competition is sponsored by a former National squash champion, Kunle Adebiyi.


Adebiyi while speaking at the opening ceremony of the tournament at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) squash court, said the event is staged, not only to discover new talents, but also to groom young players for national and international competitions.


He disclosed that, the championship would also be hosted in two other locations, namely the Abeokuta Sports club tennis court and the Ake Palace squash club.


According to him, the young players would be competing for scholarships both in American and Nigerian universities as well as other sporting equipments.


Adebiyi noted that, the idea behind the tournament is to complement government's efforts at developing sport in Nigeria.


He disclosed that, his foundation, in conjunction with his colleagues in the diaspora had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the England squash to support the game of squash in Nigeria through training of coaches and other young players.


Adebiyi said, "The prizes we are going to be giving out will be scholarships, rackets and other equipments the kids need in playing the game.


"For me, this is not a choice, it is an obligation. This tournament is about giving back to the game that made me who I am today. I actually started this in 1995 even as a player in the UK, I got sponsorship for the Nigerian team and over the years some of us have come together to continue to support squash in Nigeria.


"I know that government will not do everything, we all know the support that other games apart from football get from the government.


"We are not going to be sponsoring tournaments alone, we are looking at how to support these kids. We are also looking at helping these kids into American universities and schools, that will be handled by the chairman of the expos in diaspora.


Also speaking, a retired Judge of the court of Appeal and a veteran squash player, Justice Deinde Soremi called on government to invest more in sport for youth development.

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