ACLSports.com: Congratulations on the victory of the female Volleyball team at last month’s qualifications series in Abidjan, Côte de voire. Can you give ACLSports.com some background knowledge?
Maikano Alhaji Adamu: First and foremost, my name is Maikano Alhaji Adamu, the Secretary General of Nigeria Volleyball Federation. The Africa nations cup is coming up next month. The female senior team are currently in camp at the Abuja National Stadium and the tournament is starting on the 5th of October to 15th October, in Cameroon. This nation cup is a qualifiers for the 2018 World championship in Japan.
ACLSports.com: How is the camp being funded?
Maikano Alhaji Adamu: The plan is to come to camp, which we are there, and write to the government (Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports) to access funds for travel, and also task the board members of the federation who will support the tournament. At the stage we are, the President and the Chairman of the organizing committee recently traveled to Lagos to get sponsors, and we are looking up to the Kaduna state government for sponsorship of the female team.
ACLSports.com: When is the team expected to depart Nigeria?
Maikano Alhaji Adamu: The female team, God willing, should leave the shores of Nigeria by the 4th of October (one day ahead, in order to avoid being overstressed), if funding is made available early enough, because the arrival day for the Africa female nations cup is October 5th.
ACLSports.com: How does it feel to know that Nigerians are actually not very much aware of what is going on?
Maikano Alhaji Adamu: In this area, You see, sports are graded into different stages and it’s hard for other sports to compete with football because of the level of awareness. Volleyball is an event that is all over the country including Primary and secondary schools with this I believe it should be second to football but funding is the problem. But notwithstanding, this regime has made Volleyball popular within a short period. Among the Federations, Volleyball did trials for the junior and senior teams for the purpose of picking the best out of Nigeria players to represent the country, and this is the result we are getting. The male team traveled to Niger and qualified for the first round, the female to Abidjan and qualified too. This is a strong indication that Volleyball will become a force to reckon with in the year 2020 because we are pushing for a program.
Before next year, trials will be staged for athletes in the beach volleyball event in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
ACLSports.com: What should Nigerians expect from the female Volleyball team?
Maikano Alhaji Adamu: My assurance to Nigerians is that the team will perform beyond expectations. I’m confident in the level of preparation, and our players will make us proud. I’m a winner, I was the Secretary General of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation and during my stint we won the World Championship. By God’s grace we’ll win the Nation’s cup and be at the World Cup in 2018.