COAS Spikers player, Ijeoma Ukpabi said she started playing to prove some of her doubters wrong. The two time National Sports Festival boxing gold medallist told www.aclsports.com that she fell in love totally with volleyball after the 2012 National Sports Festival in Lagos.
The Army officer said, “I fell in love with volleyball by the height of the players that were playing then. When I disclosed my intention of switching to volleyball in 2011, the players at the court told me that the game is for tall individuals, I decided to play volleyball to prove my doubters wrong.
“I was once a boxer, but picked interest and started learning how to play volleyball after my boxing training every day at Umuahia Township stadium in Abia state. I started my boxing career in 2004 and in between I won two gold medals at the 2006 Gateway Games and 2008 Garden City Games afterwards I stopped in 2012 in the women’s Welterweight”.
“Eventually, I started learning volleyball gradually in 2011 switching with boxing before I decided to focus on volleyball after EKO 2012 Sports Festival”, she said.
Ukpabi told www.aclsports.com that the 2019 volleyball season was a success for her.
She said, “I was not expecting anything less because I worked and prepared for it the Nigeria Volleyball Premier League so winning the Most Valuable player is deserved.
“The toughest game for me in 2019 was against Nigeria Immigration Service at the first leg of the 2019 Nigeria Volleyball Premier League”.
She further said, “I have been on and off for the past years due to some personal reasons but I am happy to have represented the country African club championship Kenya, World U-20 championship in Czech republic and 2019 African Games in Morocco”.