Confluence badminton club wins mixed doubles in maiden Edition of Kogi State Badminton Championship

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By Odimayo Olatunde Fredrick

Confluence Badminton club has won the mixed doubles in the maiden edition of Kogi Kogi State Badminton Championship 2024.

The championship, which was played at the badminton court in Lokoja between 24th-25th April featured Men doubles, Men doubles 35-45 years of age, men doubles 45-55 years, men doubles 55+, women doubles and mixed doubles.

Joseph and Martha of Confluence Badminton club defeated
Hayatu and Hamamatu, (Team Kaduna), Muhammad, Peculiar, (Niger Shuttle Strikers/COE), and John, Ochefu, (Confluence Badmiton club) to emerge victors in the mixed doubles.

In the Women’s doubles, Endurance and Hamamatu from Team Kaduna came first to defeat their opponent Ketu, Mary, (
MBBC), Ochefu, Queen (Confluence Badmiton club) and
Ginia, Peculiar (COE) who all emerged second, and third respectively.

Shedrack, Wambai of Rock City badminton came first in the Men Doubles 56+ to defeat their opponents Jones, Mr. Bappa, (MBBC), Hon. Jibrin, Jega (Zuma BC) Azare Compt. Lawal Bello, (MPBC) who all emerged as second and third respectively.

For the Men doubles 46-55,
Murry, Peter from Team Kaduna emerged victors in this category. They both knocked out Baba Makarfi, Musa, (Team Kaduna), Keneth Chidebe, Moses Igbriwi, (Confluence Badmiton club), and
Kolo, Sadam, (COE).

Another surprise in this championship is the Men doubles 35-45 were
Aminu, James (Niger Shuttle Strikers)
defeated Abdullahi, Anache (Niger Shuttle Strikers), Ashraff Abdulhakeem, Victor, (Confluence Badmiton) and Abubakar Dabson, Shehu Njidda, (Fombina BC) to emerge champion of this category.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the competition, the national Chairman, Association of badminton clubs in Nigeria, Mohammed Lawal Bello expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the game.

“We are very satisfied with this maiden competition in Kogi State. We don’t know that we will see the magnitude of people and the turn out in this game. As you can see, the competition was highly contested, which has given a very good colour to the tournament.

“We hope that this kind of tournament will continue. We are doing this competition to encourage young group of persons to come into the club and see for themselves. Alot of people have come and show interest in this game.

“Badmiton has been one of the greatest and fastest growing game in the Country. Usually, badminton is a game of love. Our aim for this tournament is to see how we can bring people together, unit them, including clubs across the region to come together to have the best of sporting activities”.

He stressed the need for all stakeholders to come together and support badminton adding that, their mission is to make Nigeria the best badminton playing nation in the world.

“When we started, few club registered with us. As at this moment, we are having more than 80 badminton clubs in Nigeria. Last year, we hosted a competition in Abuja, in which clubs across the six geopolitical zones participated.

“We discovered raw talent in that tournament and some of the players have been called to the national team. Nigeria is now ranked number one badminton Nation in Africa. This are some of the reasons we are organizing this championship to get raw talent to represent our great nation”.

The captain of Confluence Badminton club Kogi State who doubles as the organizer of the tournament Ahsraf Abdulhakeem admonished government and all stakeholders to invest massive in young players to replace the aged one’s.

“Recently, we concluded the Olympics qualifiers, Anuoluwapo Juwon Opeyori from Lagos State has qualified to represent the Country in the Olympics. This is the second time he is doing it back to back. He is currently the best in Africa for over four years.

“If Lagos State has not invested in him, they wouldn’t have someone like that. In sports, every one knows that age is a huge factor. Very soon, Anuoluwapo Juwon Opeyori will leave the stage. We need people who can confidently replace Opeyori at the national level. We can’t be calling only one name, we want to be calling alot of names in badminton. When government comes in, alot of achievement will be recorded in badminton.

He described as mis-normal that much attention is given to a particular sport while badminton is being relegated to the background.

Continuing, he said”It is quite unfortunate that Badmiton is yet to get the required recognition and publicity like other sports. When you go for Olympics, all the other sports are expected to be represented. The Country are expected to present players in the sports. Badminton should not be left out.

“The government should see the need for them to develop Nigeria players in badminton. There are alot of Nigeria boys and girls that are undergoing training everyday in their different States and clubs. They should be encouraged to take over the State and international level”he advised.

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