The name Agboola Shittu Adewunmi rings a bell in the ear of every handball in Africa and beyond. Adewunmi during his active days played in top handball leagues in Africa. He is among the new team of National Team coaches appointed by the Handball Federation
Agboola Shittu Adewunmi who hails from Ilaje Local Government in Ondo state but moved to Lagos at an early age started his education at Seabreeze Primary School, then Oluwa Memorial Secondary School and Tolu school complex, Ajegunle.
Much later he studied Accounting at the University of Abuja and Sports Management and International Relations at Dong A University in Korea.
Q: What is your Handball ‘story’?
Adewunmi: Hmmm, Lagos made me what I am today. I started my handball career in Lagos state despite been from Ondo state. I represented Lagos at International Youth Tournament in 1990, 1991 and 1992(Italy and Hungary).
After representing Lagos state, I also wore the colors of Nigeria at three All African Games in 2003 (Nigeria), 2007 (Algeria) and 2011 (Mozambique) winning a bronze medal at the COJA games in Abuja. I was voted the best goalkeeper in Nigeria League back to back in 2004, 2005 and 2006. My performance in 2006 made me attend the Africa Nations Cup in Angola (2006).
Q: Did you play outside Nigeria?
Adewunmi: Yes, sure I did. I played in various championships in Nigeria as a player and coach. My past club sides in Nigeria includes Seasiders of Lagos and Safety Shooters of Abuja, representing Nigeria Clubs at African Club Championship in Morocco, Benin Republic, Cameroon, Togo to mention a few.
Outside the country, I played for ASPAC Benin Republic and Maccabi Raanana handball club of Israel before bowing out.
Q: Before your appointment as one of the coaches of the Handball Female national team, have you managed a team?
Adewunmi: Yes. I’ve been the coach of Lagos Seasiders Handball Club since 2012, I’ll not forget to mention that Lagos won the last edition of National sports festival in male and runners up in female which I was played a pivot role as a player and coach.
I am the Founder and owner of Funad handball academy Lagos and Chief Sports Consultant, Funad Sports Limited.
Q: What will you do differently now that you’ve been given a national assignment by the board of the Handball Federation of Nigeria?
Adewunmi: My major focal point is to develop new breed of internationally acclaimed handball goalkeepers, by imparting contemporary trends in the field of goalkeeping. Secondly, I will like to propagate handball goalkeeping by encouraging younger ones. Thirdly, will like to transform the female national team into a robust and competitive team where recycling of players will be a thing of the past.
Q: Can the female team make any meaningful impact on the Africa continent?
Adewunmi: Nigeria has been producing lots of good female players. So our chances at the 2019 All Africa Games (AAG) is very bright, surely we are a team to beat at any tournament. Though, we wish the female team will have opportunities to play at championships like the Africa Nations Cup for females in 2018 before AAG, to assess the teams.