From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
June 6 (Newshour.com.ng) – Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State have advised Nigerians on the need to be actively involved in sporting activities as a credible means of enhancing their health for other socioeconomic activities.
Uzodimma who was ably represented by his Deputy, Prof. Placid Njoku disclosed this on Monday during the flagging off of the 2023 National Division 1 and 2 Volleyball League organized by Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVF) in collaboration with Imo State Government at the Volleyball Pitch of Dan Anyiam International Stadium, Owerri.
The Governor commended Nigeria Volleyball Federation for granting Imo State the honour of hosting the national event after decades of elusion and assured them of maximum collaborative partnership.
He expressed the commitment of his administration in upliftment of the youths through meaningful engagement and enhancement of sporting facilities and infrastructures.
Uzodimma reiterated his Shared Prosperity administrative mantra giant strides in the rehabilitation of the State’s sporting facilities, infrastructures and transformation of sports in the overall interest of the youths and the society at large.
The Governor while canvassing the need for grassroots development of sports, advised the players and the teams on the need to always embrace the spirit of good sportsmanship and patriotism assuring that the essence of the competition is to discover new talents that will boost the Volleyball premiership league and the national team.
He expressed his desire for team Imo to be on top of the league at the end of the 9 days skilled competition that commenced on Saturday 3rd June as the closing ceremony have been scheduled to hold on Monday 12th June at the same venue .
Earlier, Mrs. Nkechi Ezugwu, who’s instrumental to the attraction of the hosting right to Imo State as the 2nd Vice President, Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Chairman of the Volleyball League Management Committee and first grade member Nigeria Referees Association expressed regrets for the absence of the Federation’s President Engr. Musa Nimrod due to exigencies of duties.
Ezugwu who’s also the 30th Comptroller of Nigeria Immigration Services, NIS Imo State Command expressed her patriotic passion for the game she played up to international level, which prompted her desire in sponsoring the renovation and upgrading of the State Volleyball pitches as being used for the national leagues.
She advised the various tiers of government to give priority attention to the game of Volleyball as well as cooperate bodies, sports philanthropic individuals and groups noting the prestigious game as profitable both for health and economy.
The Chairman, Nigeria Volleyball League Management Committee further advised the players to show strength, skills, commitment and discipline as hallmarks of achieving greatness with the game.
In his speech, Hon. Emeka Okoronkwo ( Egbe Eji Aga Ogu ), the Imo State Commissioner for Sports, Youth and Social Developments who was overwhelmed with the number of States and teams in attendance described the national event as epoch and historical.
Okoronkwo pointed out that the Shared Prosperity government of Senator Hope Uzodimma is highly interested in building an enduring but meaningful future for Imo Youths through professional sporting activities, empowerment and skills acquisition.
He joyfully welcomed all the athletes and sports administrators in the State for the national leagues and assured them of tremendous hospitality and security noting Imo State as a land of peace and hospitality.
The Commissioner who recalled the deplorable state of sporting facilities and infrastructures that their administration inherited, gave kudos to Governor Uzodimma for being proactive in sports development and transformations.
Highlights of the occasion was the commencement of the national league events in which about five teams played the opening matches.
According to the technical team and as played,
Oluyole Spikers of Ibadan vs Niger Brass of Minna ended 3-1 in favour of Oluyole, detailed results are 1st set: 25-17, 2nd set: 25-18, 3rd set: 21-25, 4th set: 22-25 and 5th set: 15-11 while the intensed match between Odogwu Spikers of Rivers State &;Sword VC of Benue State ended, (0-3) in favour of the more experienced Benue State team as shown by these results; 1st set: 22-25, 2nd set: 28-30 and 3rd set: 13-25.
However, the vociferous match between, Safety Spikers VC & Life Camp VC, Abuja was a humiliation of 3-0 to Safety Spikers VC, Abuja being sponsored by Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC as the detailed results are
1st set: 21-25, 2nd set: 21-25 while 3rd set ended 24-26 still in favour of Life Camp.
The match of the day was between the home based Imo Spikers VC, Owerri v Ajase Ipo VC of Kwara State, the hard fighting Imo Spikers VC showed their opponents that they mean business by taking them to the cleaner with (3-1) victory, details of the games played are 1st set: 25-21, 2nd set: 25-22, 3rd set: 20-25 while the
4th and final set ended 25-19 in favour of Imo Spikers.
It’s was Olalomi Royal VC of Kwara State and Adamawa Spikers VC, Yola that played the final match of the day with Olalomi using royal blood to disgraced jittery Adamawa Spikers with 3-1, the game was played thus; 1st set: 25-22, 2nd set: 26-24, 3rd set: 19-25 and the final set ended 25-20 still in favour of thunderbolt spiking, Olalomi Royal VC . It was fun, entertaining and highly exhibition of skills and talents.