In pursuance of further augmentation of Kwara State’s profile on the game of badminton, the state government yesterday hosted the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN).
Welcoming the national body in her office, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister (Mrs.) Iyabo Funke Banire, said that the state is a sports hub in the country, and that the administration of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has accelerated the pace of sports development through phenomenal investments with upgrading of the Kwara State Stadium Complex, coupled with the execution of numerous sports projects to open up massive employment opportunities for youths.
Banire also appreciated the fact that the present administration realises the manifold potentials with which the state is blessed and that it is maximally making use of the advantages by embarking on veritable sports programmes to discover talents and turn the state to a centre of excellence sports-wise.
Commending the BFN President, Barrister Francis Orbih, for having Kwara in mind in his quest to uplift and enlarge the sports horizon in the country, the Permanent Secretary noted that there is conspicuous passion, commitment, interest and expertise in the guest, which she said he can use to help in moving the state forward in the area of sports.
She added that the state needs enlightened and sophisticated stakeholders like the guest who is grounded in the knowledge and possessing the know-how and the connection to open the state to the global market, assuring that the state is ready to partner with such a man who epitomises intelligence and enviable assets.
Earlier, the BFN President, Barrister Francis Orbih, disclosed that the motive behind his group’s visit to the Ministry was to acknowledge the impressive efforts of AbdulRazaq-led administration for the development of sports in the country, particularly the badminton game, recounting the numerous heroic achievements of the state in country’s sports so far.
He explained that the state has produced and is still producing a considerable number of badminton players, citing the immediate former Director, Kwara State Sports Council, Coach Tunde Kazeem, Oyebanji Bello, who is now African Number 1 in Kwara badminton and the World Number 21, and Sofiat Obanisola, who has graduated from the Junior National Championship to the senior team, also predicting that the female athlete will be a future African Champion.
He described Kwara state as the arsenal of the badminton game in Nigeria, saying that the state is the producer of the highest number of badminton champions.
He evaluated that there should a compensation for a state that has showcased ingenuity, commitment and marvellous performance to elevate and enrich the sports narrative in the country.
Sequel to the state’s stellar performance in the badminton game in all the age categories in Nigeria, the Lagos-based sports veteran was in the course to persuade the state to host the National Under-age Badminton Championship.
Also in attendance at the courtesy visit were the Director of Sports Development, Kwara State Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, former Director, Kwara State Sports Council, Coach Tunde Kazeem, and the Sole Administrator, Kwara Football Academy, Coach Kehinde Jimoh.