Eighteen players have been selected to represent Nigeria at the All Africa Senior Championships from April 22-28 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The list made available by the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) is made up of nine male and nine female players, while the three senior national coaches will handle the team at the elite event.
The men’s team is made up of Nigeria number one Anuoluwapo Opeyori, Godwin Olofua, Eneojo Abah, Clement Kropakpo, Habeeb Bello, Aliyu Shehu, Gideon Babalola, Kayode Mope, Isaac Minaphee.
The women’s team has Dorcas Adesokan, Deborah Ukeh, Peace Orji, Chinenye Ebere, Amin Christopher, Sofiat Obanisola, Ramatu Yakubu, Zainab Alabi and Augustina Sunday.
The coaches are head coach Benjamin Orakpo to be assisted by George Shitta and Susan Udeh Agboola.
Already, 18 countries have registered for the showpiece event, which will see the best male and female Badminton players on the African continent compete for glory. These countries include; Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Congo, Congo DRC, Eritrea, Egypt Ghana and Ivory Coast. Other participating countries include; Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and host Nigeria.
In a related development, Brisby Christopher Egbonyi who just graduated from University of Port Harcourt won the mascot competition and will be presented with the prize money of N100,000 during the championship.
At the unveiling of Alabo the Shuttler at the weekend in Port Harcourt, The Commissioner of Sports, Hon Boma Iyaye who represented the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike applauded BFN for highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the Rivers people.
He reiterated the commitment of Governor Wike to ensure the event is a huge success. He appealed to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to back Rivers State to host other sporting events.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, Adesola Olusade in his remarks, lauded the visionary leadership of the BFN boss, Francis Orbih.
Olusade said the BFN has exceeded expectations in terms of performance.
He thanked the Government of Rivers State for their support to BFN and urged other State governments to emulate Rivers State Government by giving greater support to sports development and youth empowerment.
He reiterated that the Ministry will give the necessary support to augment the efforts of Rivers State Government to ensure the 2019 All Africa Senior Championships is a huge success.
Olusade commended BFN for initiating the Mascot Challenge which is a brilliant idea to empower the youths as the winner would be rewarded during the championships.