Arise, O Compatriots, let’s celebrate. Roll out the drums and make merry, for it’s another wonderful day in the life of the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria YSFON.
Nigeria’s oldest youth sports body is fifty-seven years old. The world is excited and we are proud.
An organization that came into existence on the 6th of April 1965, has seen it all, despite going through challenges and uncertainties, YSFON has left it’s footprints on the sands of time.
With branches in thirty- six states and FCT, YSFON has successfully groomed and exposed Nigerian Yyouths to the world through local and International age grade competitions such as football, athletics, volleyball, handball swimming, amongst others.
The YSFON stars were the first Nigerian youth football team to go international in 1980 and first African youth team to win the Scandinavian youth football tournament known as the Gothia Cup.
Others are the Brazilian Cup of State, in 1980, and 1986. Dallas Cup, (USA)1982, Liga Satellite Cup in Mexico 1983, Commonwealth youth soccer championship in Southampton also in 1983. .The Youth’s Cup Winners’ Cup in Spain in 1984, four-time Dana Cup winners in Denmark from1983-1986, amongst other numerous laurels.
Reacting during the 57th anniversary celebration, YSFON President and Deputy Governor of Kano State, Dr. Nasiru Gawuna says it’s truly a thing of joy to be part of this wonderful celebration.
Gawuna poured encomiums on the Federal Government, some institutions, outstanding individuals like late Israel Adebajo, Alhaji Dr GN Hamza, late Patron, Chief MKO Abiola, Mrs Bola Kuforiji Olubi, late General Murtala Mohammed, late General Sani Abacha and a host of others, as well as corporate bodies who have been part of the struggle and success story of YSFON over the years.
The YSFON President also appreciated the support of state governments, traditional rulers and of course, the teeming population of Nigerian youths who have contributed immensely to the sustenance of the body through massive participation in different competitions over the years.
From inception, YSFON struggled and was nurtured by then Founder and National Secretary, late Prince Tony Eke enviably supported by the then President, late Prince Dokun Abidoye.
The partnership took the sporting world by surprise, and gave Nigeria an indelible achievement which today has added great value to Nigeria’s sporting success.
Putting the record straight, incumbent National Secretary of YSFON, Olorogun Patrick Okpavuerhe feels the body has not been given enough recognition. He says a body that has produced great players like Samson siasia, Tarila Okorowanta, Paul Okoku, Tajudeen Disu, Henry Nwosu, Philip Osondu, Dahiru Sadi, Nwankwo kanu, Austine Jay Jay Okocha, Kelechi Nwakali, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Osihmen and the rest must be given kudos and enabling environment to contribute more to national growth and sports development.
Okpavuerhe also thanked YSFON sponsors, like the Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Nigerian Navy and other state branches for being there through thick and thin.
Stakeholders say YSFON has done so much for the country and appealed to everyone to come together to shine positive light on Nigerian sports to enable us have an assured future.
Written by Paul Akhagbemhe