The Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) female football team has called on Nigerians to support its bid to fly Nigeria’s flag at the All Africa University Games, due to kick off in June in Kenya.
The Director of Sports, NAU, Kenneth Ogbonna, made the call during the team’s visit to some organizations in Anambra on Wednesday.
The 10th All Africa University Games is scheduled to hold from June 6 to June 10 at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, after the postponement of the 2020 edition of the games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Mr Ogbonna, the team, which has been the best in the South-east since 2019 and was third-best at the just concluded 26th NUGA games in Lagos, is in top shape for the continental competition.
He said that Team Unizik would depart Nigeria for Kenya on June 4 with 18-member athletes including a gold medalist in javelin.
He expressed gratitude to the management of NAU led by Charles Esimone, a professor, whom he described as a Vice-Chancellor who changed the face of sports in the institution.
“We want to thank God for the massive support we have received from Nigerians and we want to ask for more in terms of prayers and sponsorship.
“We are confident that with God on our side, we shall do ourselves, the university, and the country proud at the female football event of the 10th All Africa University Games in Kenya.
“Our success will reset the mentality of the girl child, they will know hard work pays; we are also going with a gold medalist in javelin,” he said.
Also speaking, Wilson Ugwu, Managing Director of Skyville Integrated Solutions Limited, managers of the team, said the visit was to promote the team and mobilize Nigerians for maximum support.
Wilson said Team Unizik was the first female team that would represent Nigeria at the All Africa Universities Games.
He said that the team’s success would enhance women’s participation not just in sports but in football particularly.
He also said that already, Lotto, a sportswear company managed by Osita Agwu, agreed to kit the team to add color to their outing.
“Ours is basically to help project the team in their preparations by garnering enough support and ensuring they have a smooth sail to Kenya.
“Our target is that they get all the support, spiritual, materials, and financial support from private individuals and firms to make them meet their target of conquering Africa in Kenya,” he said.
The acting Managing Director of the Anambra Broadcasting Service, Gabriel Okpalaeze assured that the media outfit would partner with the team on the project and help mobilize the people.
Mr Okpalaeke congratulated the team for its exploits and urged them to remain focused.
Scholastica Ikeobi, the captain of the team, said they were hopeful of a good outing.
Ikeobi said the team had been together since their return from NUGA in Lagos and had been training intensely for the game.
The team had earlier visited Professor Esimone, the Vice-Chancellor of NAU, in his office.
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