By Sulyman AbdulSomad
Baseball Tomorrow Academy is planning to promote sportsmanship and skill development in baseball among children from the ages of 4-18.
The declaration was made on Thursday December 7th, 2023, during the unveiling of the Babe Ruth League Nigeria, and presentation of awards to coaches and other dignitaries that has supported the sports in Kwara State and Nigeria.
The event held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara State Sports Commission, Ilorin.
The league, which has been in operation in the United State for over six decade was brought to Nigeria by Peter Imonikhe John, who is the Cheif Executive Officer (CEO) of Baseball Tomorrow Academy.
In a chartered agreement with the Babe Ruth League of United State, the Academy is in charge of managing and operating Babe Ruth League Nigeria.
Imonikhe, who read his speech virtually advocated that the Babe Ruth League Nigeria will help to enrich the sporting landscape and also promotes the value of team work and fair play among baseball players in the country.
According to him, “the unveilling of Babe Ruth League Nigeria is the beginning of the legacy that will define the landscape of Nigeria baseball and softball and empower the new generation of athletes to choose their dreams.”
He also congratulated the awardees, and charged them not to relent in their support, as it has always been good working with them in one way or the other.
“We want to recognize the selected individual who had played instrumental roles in our success story. These distinguished individuals left indelible marks in sport andin our lives. Their passion, commitment and unwavering support paved way for us to excel,” he said.
Mr Gideon Ayodele, the Vice President of the Academy, while giving the keynote address also stress the importance of the league as an avenue that could bring youth together, and also as a unifing factor.
“The Babe Ruth League is not just another league; it is a symbol of growth, unity and the power of dreams. Through this league, children from all league of life have the opportunity to come together, forge friendships and compete on a platform where talents will shine through.”
Ayodele also announced that the Academy has also gotten invitation to participate in 2024 Baseball World Series in the United States, which is a development that indicates that Nigeria will have a participant in the world stage.
He said, “it will interest you to know that we’ve gotten invitation to participate in the 2024 World Series in the US, and Kwara state will be automatically given a slot with full sponsorship.”
The Academy also announced their partners and sponsor, with Bayour Issah as the Media Partner. Kwara State Government, JMK, Salihu Mustapha Foundation, Forest Guest House, Lubcon Group, Sportspro, United State Embassy, Abuja, Ball Part America are also the major partners.
The awardees are Kwara State Government, Professor Sheu Adaramaja (SUBEB Chairman), Engr. Jani Ibrahim, Mallam Salihu Mustapha, Pharmacist Kale Ayo, Late Jide Fashiku, Jide Abidoye, Toba Alegbe, Simpa Aaron Abdul, Dr. Usman Abubakar Jos (Balogun Alanamu of Ilorin Emirate), and Mrs Jumoke Harb (JMK).
Also at the event, the Balogun Alanamu and Mrs Jumoke Harb were announced as the Patron and Matron respectively.
While giving his appreciation speech, Pharmacist Kale Ayo urges the awardees not to relent in their gestures and support towards the development of sports in the State, and also call for unity among the organizers of the league.
“Government alone cannot fund sports development. We need good people to support them. Everybody need to be involved. And I will also call on the organizers to continue working together”, he added.