President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih revealed in an EXCLUSIVE chat with www.aclsports.com how the federation partnered with China for the growth and development of the sports in Nigeria.
Orbih said China has been of immense help to the Badminton Federation of Nigeria and disclosed how the Federation solicited for their support.
“I approached some Chinese organisations for sponsorship through a friend,” he began
“They recognise that Nigeria has a great population and will have a big market so they will want to come in here to sell their goods. And for badminton, if you help us grow the game the bigger the game grows, the bigger the market at the end of the day.”
“After I engaged them through emails for a while, they decided that they wanted me to come to China to sit with them physically and have a conversation so I flew to China and was there for ten days. I had different meetings and it was in the course of the meeting the MOU to give us a technical adviser was signed and they also talked about the donation of the gymnasium amongst other things.
“The technical adviser will resume with the team before the All African Seniors in Port Harcourt this year. We will also have our national team coaches as his assistants so they can understudy him because we know he won’t be here forever. We expect that by the time he is going back, they would have learnt enough a lot coupled with the refresher courses they will attend in China.
Orbih said the badminton gymnasium will be constructed at the National Stadium Abuja containing 10 courts but they are being delayed by the Sports Ministry.
“The gymnasium will be the biggest in this country and Africa. It will also have hostel facilities attached to it, offices and shops. The Chinese organisation have donated it and will build it free of charge for us but the ministry officials are still slowing us down with their bureaucracy and all that. We need to know where they are giving us a land and come up with a concept for the design then the Chinese company will implement it.”
The chairman of the Lagos State Badminton Association cited other areas the federation has benefited from China.
“Also during the meeting with them, I let them know we were having challenges taking our players to the World Championship so they decided to sponsor two of my players who qualified for the World Championship in China last year. They got their flight, accommodation and also kitted them.”
Nigeria mixed doubles champion Eneojo Abah and Peace Orji were the players who competed at the World Championship in China last year.