The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral A. Z. Gambo has pledged to sustain support for the organization of both the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) U-14 Boys tournament and the Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) U-17 Girls competitions as a way of encouraging healthy interaction among youths in the country.
He equally pledged to continue with the partnership with the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), to boost the development of sports, especially football, at the grassroots.
Rear Admiral Gambo, who was represented by Rear Admiral B. J. Gbasa at the closing ceremony of the 19 CNS Cup and 11th NOWA Cup competitions at the Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin last Sunday commended YSFON for been worthy partners in the empowerment of the youths through football.
While declaring the event closed, he announced the re-opening of the Navy Football Academy in Calabar, which is being supported by YSFON, adding that the players picked at the Ilorin competitions will soon be invited to the Academy.
The President of YSFON, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who was represented by the National Secretary of the body, Patrick Akpavuerhe, while commending Nigerian Navy said that the competitions have met expectations and needs of the youths who are desirous to make a career out of football.
Dr. Gawuna, who is the Deputy Governor of Kano state added that YSFON has over the years, through its grassroots programmes provided quality footballers that has made this country proud at international football arena.
Kwara Football Academy (KFA) and Abruka Queens FC of Ilorin both won the 19th Chief of Naval Staff U-14 Boys soccer competition and 11th Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) U-17 Female soccer competitions respectively.
While Kwara state won the U-14 trophy for the first time, the state won the female trophy for the fifth time, having done so in 2007, 2008, 2009 and in 2019.
16 male teams and six female teams across Nigeria participated in the competition which was concluded last Sunday at the playing pitch of Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin.
In the female U-17 competition, Kwara defeated Osun by a lone goal. The team had earlier beaten Osun 4-0, Nigerian Navy 6-0, and were stretched to the penalties by Oyo state team, which they defeated 5-4, in the semi-finals.
Benue defeated Oyo by a lone goal to win the third place match.
In the U-14 male competition, Kwara Football Academy defeated Enugu 4-2 on penalties, after playing out a goalless draw at regulation time.
Kebbi state defeated Oyo by a lone goal in the third place match.
Boniface Wisdom of Enugu state was picked as the Most Valuable Player of the male tournament, while Hayatu Haruna of Kebbi state emerged the Highest Goal Scorer with five goals. Ibrahim Hussein of Kwara won the Best Goalkeeper award.
In the female competition, Adegoke Timilehim from Osun state emerged the Most valuable Player, Hameed Aminatu from Kwara state as the Highest Goal Scorer, and Osun state’s Adeyeye Oluwakemi as the Best Goalkeeper.
Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq tops the list of awardees at the event. Others included the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral A. Z. Gambo, the President of NOWA, Hajia Nana Gambo, Kwara Commissioner of Police, CP Paul Odama, the Executive Chairman, Kwara State Sports Commission, Mallam Bola Mogaji, Rear Admiral B. J. Gbasa, Commodore R. M. Shammah, who is the Director of Sports, Nigerian Navy and the Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Agu Ejidike, Kwara Pillar of Sports.
Also listed for awards are the Deputy Commandant Navy College of Health Sciences, Offa, Kwara State, Navy Captain S.A Ahmadu, Prince Oladimeji Ladi Thompson, Hameed Adio, who is the Chairman, Kwara TV Board, Mallam Tunde Kazeem of Kazolinks as well as the Principal of Queen Elizabeth School, Mrs Sidikat Lawal, who also had the honour of been celebrated on her birthday.